Special Issue "Advances in Applied Lignin Research"

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomacromolecules, Biobased and Biodegradable Polymers".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 October 2023 | Viewed by 750

Special Issue Editors

RISE PFI AS, Høgskoleringen 6B, NO-7491 Trondheim, Norway
Interests: biopolymers; lignin; lignosulfonates; colloid and polymer science; bio-derived materials; thermoforming of pulp; biomass conversion; chemical engineering; production chemicals; paraffin wax

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Lignin is a polyphenolic, branched biopolymer that can be found in a variety of niche applications. Due to its abundance and rich chemistry, it is considered to have promising potential. Current research is frequently motivated by sustainability concerns, featuring one or more of the following points:

  1. Replacing fossil-based chemicals and/or polymers with lignin;
  2. Developing new solutions based on lignin’s unique chemistry;
  3. Value creation for lignin rich products and by-products from biorefinery operations, which aims to improve overall utilization and economy.

This Special Issue provides a forum for applied lignin research. Submitted manuscripts should either directly or indirectly benefit the technical and industrial utilization of lignin. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Production, isolation, and purification of lignin;
  • Analytics and characterization of lignin, including technique development and method comparison;
  • Lignin-based materials, such as thermosets, thermoplastics, biocomposites, polymer blends, and carbon materials;
  • Lignin-based specialty chemicals, such as surfactants, dispersants, stabilizers, plasticizers/viscosity modifiers, flocculants, and chelating agents;
  • Lignin-derived fine and commodity chemicals, such as vanillin, pharmaceutical precursors, BTX chemicals, and other aromatics;
  • Functional surfaces that include lignin as an antioxidant, an anti-microbial coating, a UV-protective agent, etc.

Dr. Jost Ruwoldt
Dr. Gary Chinga Carrasco
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Polymers is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • lignin
  • lignosulfonates
  • kraft lignin
  • soda lignin
  • organosolv lignin
  • biopolymers
  • biorefinery
  • characterization
  • green materials
  • green chemicals

Published Papers (1 paper)

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The Effect of Sample Preparation Techniques on Lignin Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy
Polymers 2023, 15(13), 2901; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15132901 - 30 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 586
The characterization and quantification of functional groups in technical lignins are among the chief obstacles of the utilization of this highly abundant biopolymer. Although several techniques were developed for this purpose, there is still a need for quick, cost-efficient, and reliable quantification methods [...] Read more.
The characterization and quantification of functional groups in technical lignins are among the chief obstacles of the utilization of this highly abundant biopolymer. Although several techniques were developed for this purpose, there is still a need for quick, cost-efficient, and reliable quantification methods for lignin. In this paper, three sampling techniques for fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy were assessed both qualitatively and quantitatively, delineating how these affected the resultant spectra. The attenuated total reflectance (ATR) of neat powders and DMSO-d6 solutions, as well as transmission FTIR using the KBr pelleting method (0.5 wt%), were investigated and compared for eight lignin samples. The ATR of neat lignins provided a quick and easy method, but the signal-to-noise ratios in the afforded spectra were limited. The ATR of the DMSO-d6 solutions was highly concentration dependent, but at a 30 wt%, acceptable signal-to-noise ratios were obtained, allowing for the lignins to be studied in the dissolved state. The KBr pelleting method gave a significant improvement in the smoothness and resolution of the resultant spectra compared to the ATR techniques. Subsequently, the content of phenolic OH groups was calculated from each FTIR mode, and the best correlation was seen between the transmission mode using KBr pellets and the ATR of the neat samples (R2 = 0.9995). Using the titration measurements, the total OH and the phenolic OH group content of the lignin samples were determined as well. These results were then compared to the FTIR results, which revealed an under-estimation of the phenolic OH groups from the non-aqueous potentiometric titration, which was likely due to the differences in the pKa between the lignin and the calibration standard 4-hydroxybenzoic acid. Further, a clear correlation was found between the lower Mn and the increased phenolic OH group content via SEC analyses. The work outlined in this paper give complementary views on the characterization and quantification of technical lignin samples via FTIR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Applied Lignin Research)
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