Lignin Based Resins for High-Pressure Paper Laminates, 19PaperCon
Miscanthus (MS) and willow (W) lignin-furfural based resins are investigated as potential reinforcement agents on softwood and hardwood kraft paper for high pressure laminates. The lignin used in this study is derived from hot water extraction (160ºC, 2 hours) of miscanthus and willow biomass, and maybe considered sulfur-free. The lignins are characterized for their chemical composition and inherent properties via wet chemistry and instrumental techniques (HSQC and SEC). The resins blends (MS-Resin and W-Resin) are characterized for their molecular weight and mechanical properties by reinforcing softwood and hardwood kraft papers.
The effect of adding 10% curing agent, hexamethylenetetramine (HMTA) to the resin, has also been investigated.
The lignin-furfural resin blends are proposed as alternatives to phenol-formaldehyde (PF) resins typically used in paper based high pressure laminates. PF resins are synthetic polymers of phenol, a petrochemical product and formaldehyde, which is classified as a carcinogen by the EPA. Thus, finding safe and sustainable alternatives to PF is essential. Lignin use is currently limited to energy production and is otherwise underutilized. However, being the most abundant natural aromatic polymer, lignin valorization is an important step towards building a more sustainable world. This work is aimed at establishing lignin as a promising raw material for renewable phenol- and formaldehyde-free resins for use in high-pressure laminates.
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