NC State
Ribeiro, W. C. O., Martinez, P. F. M., and Lobosco, V. (2020). "Solubility parameters analysis of Eucalyptus urograndis kraft lignin," BioRes. 15(4), 8577-8600.


Lignin has gained momentum as a renewable material because it is the largest natural source that can provide aromatic compounds in a wide range of applications. However, its heterogeneity in terms of high polydispersity molar mass distribution and variety of functional groups has limited the direct production of added-value lignin-derivatives. Among the alternatives to obtain more homogeneous lignin cuts is solvent fractionation. However, it is not well understood how different solvents influence lignin partition, and thus it is difficult to establish a rational solvent order to perform it. Thus, the purpose of this work was to understand Eucalyptus urograndis kraft lignin partition in organic solvents through the application of three solubility parameter theories: Hildebrand, Hansen (HSP), and Functional (FSP). Through the theories studied, FSP provided the best representation of lignin partition in organic solvents. In addition, the influence of solvents’ solubility parameters on lignin solubility was investigated by multiregression analyses, which revealed that only the polar solvent parameter showed statistical relevance to describe lignin solubility. The results of this work may contribute to the effective development of technical lignins’ fractionation, allowing the production of higher-value lignin derivatives, increasing the profitability of biorefineries, and establishing a sustainable bio-based economy.

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