Polyurethane (PU) coatings with high lignin content and tunable properties were made using a combination of fractionation and partial catalytic depolymerization as a novel strategy to tailor lignin molar mass and hydroxyl group reactivity, the key parameters for use in PU coatings. Acetone organosolv lignin obtained from pilot-scale fractionation of beech wood chips was processed at the kilogram scale to produce lignin fractions with specific molar mass ranges (Mw 1000-6000 g/mol) and reduced polydispersity. Aliphatic hydroxyl groups were distributed relatively evenly over the lignin fractions, allowing detailed study of the correlation between lignin molar mass and hydroxyl group reactivity using an aliphatic polyisocyanate linker. As expected, the high molar mass fractions exhibited low cross-linking reactivity, yielding rigid coatings with a high glass transition temperature (Tg). The lower Mw fractions showed increased lignin reactivity, extent of cross-linking, and gave coatings with enhanced flexibility and lower Tg. Lignin properties could be further tailored by lignin partial depolymerization by reduction (PDR) of the beech wood lignin and its high molar mass fractions; excellent translation of the PDR process was observed from laboratory to the pilot scale necessary for coating applications in prospective industrial scenarios. Lignin depolymerization significantly improved lignin reactivity, and coatings produced from PDR lignin showed the lowest Tg values and highest coating flexibility. Overall, this study provides a powerful strategy for the production of PU coatings with tailored properties and high (>90%) biomass content, paving the path to the development of fully green and circular PU materials.

Tuning the Properties of Biobased PU Coatings via Selective Lignin Fractionation and Partial Depolymerization

Turri S.;Griffini G.
2023-01-01

Abstract

Polyurethane (PU) coatings with high lignin content and tunable properties were made using a combination of fractionation and partial catalytic depolymerization as a novel strategy to tailor lignin molar mass and hydroxyl group reactivity, the key parameters for use in PU coatings. Acetone organosolv lignin obtained from pilot-scale fractionation of beech wood chips was processed at the kilogram scale to produce lignin fractions with specific molar mass ranges (Mw 1000-6000 g/mol) and reduced polydispersity. Aliphatic hydroxyl groups were distributed relatively evenly over the lignin fractions, allowing detailed study of the correlation between lignin molar mass and hydroxyl group reactivity using an aliphatic polyisocyanate linker. As expected, the high molar mass fractions exhibited low cross-linking reactivity, yielding rigid coatings with a high glass transition temperature (Tg). The lower Mw fractions showed increased lignin reactivity, extent of cross-linking, and gave coatings with enhanced flexibility and lower Tg. Lignin properties could be further tailored by lignin partial depolymerization by reduction (PDR) of the beech wood lignin and its high molar mass fractions; excellent translation of the PDR process was observed from laboratory to the pilot scale necessary for coating applications in prospective industrial scenarios. Lignin depolymerization significantly improved lignin reactivity, and coatings produced from PDR lignin showed the lowest Tg values and highest coating flexibility. Overall, this study provides a powerful strategy for the production of PU coatings with tailored properties and high (>90%) biomass content, paving the path to the development of fully green and circular PU materials.
2023
biomass organosolv pretreatment
lignin fractionation
reductive depolymerization
tailored lignin molar mass and reactivity
tunable PU coating properties
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1258540
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