From acetone fractionation to lignin-based phenolic and polyurethane resins

Maryam Arefmanesh, Saeid Nikafshar, Emma R. Master, Mojgan Nejad*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, acetone fractionation was used to increase the homogeneity of softwood kraft lignin for product development. The acetone soluble and insoluble fractions were analyzed in terms of elemental composition, chemical structure, and thermal properties. The phenolic hydroxyl content of the acetone soluble fraction increased by 24%. The acetone soluble fraction of kraft lignin was used to fully substitute phenol in phenolic resin formulation. The resulting formulated lignin-formaldehyde adhesive showed higher adhesion strength (4.3 MPa) compared to a lab formulated phenol-formaldehyde resin (3.4 MPa) with 100% wood failure after lap shear test. On the other hand, the acetone insoluble lignin fraction, which had 23% higher aliphatic hydroxyl content compared to the starting lignin, was used to entirely replace petroleum-based polyol in polyurethane resin formulation. Then a bio-derived solvent (dihydrolevoglucosenone, Cyrene) was used to dissolve the acetone insoluble lignin fraction to synthesize lignin-based polyurethane resin. Tailoring the structure of kraft lignin through solvent fractionation resulted in two fractions, which were used to replace 100% of two major petrochemicals (phenol and polyol) in the formulations of phenolic and PU resins, that would otherwise be challenging due to the heterogeneity of softwood kraft lignin.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114604
Number of pages9
JournalIndustrial Crops and Products
Early online date1 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Cyrene
  • Lignin-based phenolic resin
  • Lignin-based polyurethane
  • Reactivity
  • Softwood kraft lignin
  • Solvent fractionation


Dive into the research topics of 'From acetone fractionation to lignin-based phenolic and polyurethane resins'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this