The potential of lignin as a sheer plane enabling thermoplasticity in lignocellulosic material – a survey of state-of-the-art

​PI: Ulrica Edlund, KTH
PhD Student/Postdoc: Liming Zhang, KTH
Duration: May 2020-Dec 2020


The overarching aim of Fibre is to turn lignocellulosic biomass thermoplastic with as little modification as possible. Two lignocellulosic starting materials will be used: bleached cellulose and wheat residues, e.g., straw. Is it possible to use the lignin in the plant cell walls and fibre bundles as shear planes when the macroscopic material is thermo-mechanically deformed? What is state-of-the-art?

To address these questions, we need first to establish a solid understanding of the nature of lignin in these two biomasses, respectively, as well as the hierarchical structure and morphology of lignin in wheat straw.


A literature study
•to build a solid understanding of the structure, morphology, and distribution of lignin in wheat
•to shed light on the nature and extension of crosslinking in wheat lignin
•to make a short comparison of the lignin structure and distribution in wheat straw, oat hull, and wheat bran. 
•to consider and compare the lignin in wheat to wood lignin.

 Literature review
Group discussions and evaluations
Summarizing the findings in a review paper and report to Fib:Re

Description of how this project addresses the hypotheses in FibRe                                                                     

A core hypothesis in Fib:Re is that lignin may serve as shear planes when the macroscopic material is thermo-mechanically deformed. To test this hypothesis, we need first to know how lignin is constituted in the biomasses that Fib:Re will use. Has this hypothesis been tested previously? What is the nature of lignin in wheat straw? How will the different hierarchical build-ups of cellulose pulp and wheat straw, respectively, affect the strategies that Fib:Re must develop for achieving a thermoplastic material? 
The proposed project aims to find answers to the above questions and identify which of these questions remain unanswered.

Page manager Published: Tue 07 Dec 2021.