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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter March 4, 2016

Self-assembly of kraft lignin into nanospheres in dioxane-water mixtures

  • Hao Li , Yonghong Deng EMAIL logo , Haisong Wu , Yuan Ren , Xueqing Qiu EMAIL logo , Dafeng Zheng and ChunLi Li
From the journal Holzforschung


Kraft lignin (KL), a by-product in the pulping and papermaking industry, is an abundant, renewable resource. In this work, nanosphere formation of KL has been investigated via self-assembly induced by adding water to a KL/dioxane solution. The KL nanospheres were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), dynamic light scattering (dynLS) and static light scattering (statLS). It was found that the nanoparticles have uniform nanospherical morphologies, including a small hollow cavity space in the interior. The π-π interactions between the aromatic rings of KL are demonstrated to be an important driving force in the self-assembly process. The KL nanosphere sizes can vary by hundreds of nanometers depending upon the preparation conditions. These newly obtained KL nanospheres have the advantages of biocompatibility, biodegradability, low toxicity, easy preparation, and low cost. Thus KL nanospheres are attractive for applications in life science, medicine, biology, food science, and agriculture. This approach presented here is an economically feasible and facile strategy for the sustainable utilization of kraft lignin.

Corresponding authors: Yonghong Deng and Xueqing Qiu, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, South China University of Technology, Wushan Road, Guangzhou, P.R. China, Tel.: +86 020 87114722, Fax: +86 020 87114721, e-mail: (Y. Deng); (X. Qiu)


The work was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program) (2012CB215302), the State Key Program of National Natural Science of China (21436004), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21374032).


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Received: 2015-11-11
Accepted: 2016-1-25
Published Online: 2016-3-4
Published in Print: 2016-8-1

©2016 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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