AbstractBesides polyurethanes and polyesters, phenolic and epoxy resins are the most prominent applications for technical lignins in thermosetting materials. To evaluate the potential application of lignin raw materials in phenol formaldehyde and epoxy resins, three types of alkaline lignins were characterized in terms of their structures and thermal properties. The lignin samples analyzed were kraft lignin (LIG-1), soda–rice straw lignin (LIG-2), and soda-wheat straw lignin (LIG-3). FTIR and 1H-NMR methods were used to determine their structure. Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) was used to determine the molecular weight distribution (MWD). Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was used to measure the glass transition temperature (Tg), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) to determine the thermal stability of lignin samples. Results showed that kraft lignin (LIG-1) has moderate hydroxyl-group content, is rich in G-type units, and has good thermal stability. These properties make it more suitable for direct use in phenol formaldehyde resins, and it is therefore a good raw material for this purpose. The alkaline soda-rice straw lignin (LIG-2) with a high hydroxyl-group content and excellent thermal stability is most suited to preparing lignin-based epoxy resins.