Lignin Modification for Biopolymer/Conjugated Polymer Hybrids as Renewable Energy Storage Materials.

PMID 26507942


Lignin derivatives, which arise as waste products from the pulp and paper industry and are mainly used for heating, can be used as charge storage materials. The charge storage function is a result of the quinone groups formed in the lignin derivative. Herein, we modified lignins to enhance the density of such quinone groups by covalently linking monolignols and quinones through phenolation. The extra guaiacyl, syringyl, and hydroquinone groups introduced by phenolation of kraft lignin derivatives were monitored by (31) P nuclear magnetic resonance and size exclusion chromatography. Electropolymerization in ethylene glycol/tetraethylammonium tosylate electrolyte was used to synthesize the kraft lignin/polypyrrole hybrid films. These modifications changed the phenolic content of the kraft lignin with attachment of hydroquinone units yielding the highest specific capacity (around 70 mA h g(-1) ). The modification of softwood and hardwood lignin derivatives yielded 50 % and 23 % higher charge capacity than the original lignin, respectively.