Conductive Carbon Microfibers Derived from Wet-Spun Lignin/Nanocellulose Hydrogels

Ling Wang, Mariko Ago, Maryam Borghei, Amal Ishaq, Anastassios C. Papageorgiou, Meri Lundahl, Orlando J. Rojas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
196 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

We introduce an eco-friendly process to dramatically simplify carbon microfiber fabrication from biobased materials. The microfibers are first produced by wet-spinning in aqueous calcium chloride solution, which provides rapid coagulation of the hydrogel precursors comprising wood-derived lignin and 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl (TEMPO)-oxidized cellulose nanofibrils (TOCNF). The thermomechanical performance of the obtained lignin/TOCNF filaments is investigated as a function of cellulose nanofibril orientation (wide angle X-ray scattering (WAXS)), morphology (scanning electron microscopy (SEM)), and density. Following direct carbonization of the filaments at 900 °C, carbon microfibers (CMFs) are obtained with remarkably high yield, up to 41%, at lignin loadings of 70 wt % in the precursor microfibers (compared to 23% yield for those produced in the absence of lignin). Without any thermal stabilization or graphitization steps, the morphology, strength, and flexibility of the CMFs are retained to a large degree compared to those of the respective precursors. The electrical conductivity of the CMFs reach values as high as 103 S cm -1 , making them suitable for microelectrodes, fiber-shaped supercapacitors, and wearable electronics. Overall, the cellulose nanofibrils act as structural elements for fast, inexpensive, and environmentally sound wet-spinning while lignin endows CMFs with high carbon yield and electrical conductivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6013-6022
Number of pages19
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Volume7
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Carbon fibers
  • Carbonization
  • Cellulose nanofibrils
  • Coagulation
  • Electrical conductivity
  • Lignin
  • Wet spinning
  • SUSPENSIONS
  • CONVERSION
  • RHEOLOGY
  • Wet spinning Coagulation
  • CELLULOSE NANOFIBRILS
  • CARBONIZATION
  • FIBERS
  • FILAMENTS
  • FUEL
  • NANOTUBES
  • PRECURSORS

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