Interfacial activity and Pickering stabilization of kraft lignin particles obtained by solvent fractionation

Jing Tian, Jingqian Chen, Peipei Wang, Jiaqi Guo, Wenyuan Zhu, Mohammad Rizwan Khan, Yongcan Jin, Junlong Song*, Orlando J. Rojas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Downloads (Pure)


This study aims to overcome the challenges of high-value utilization of technical lignins that encounters chemical complexity, heterogeneity and broad molecular mass distribution. Kraft lignin was fractionated through a practical strategy involving sequential dissolution in solvents of different polarities (water, tetrahydrofuran, and water/tetrahydrofuran v/v = 3/7). Lignin self-assembled drawing on the anti-solvent method, generating particles of controllable surface energy. Considering the governing factors in multiphase stabilization, the morphology, wetting characteristics and chemical composition of the kraft lignin particles (KLPs) were examined as a means to achieve controllable Pickering stabilization of oil-in-water (O/W) emulsions. The most anionic and hydrophilic KLPs formed aggregated networks (∼185 nm), which acted as a surfactant-type emulsifier following reversible adsorption at the O/W interfaces. Notably, the particles of the least hydrophilicity (∼146 nm) displayed a characteristic hollow structure. Such particles adsorbed slowly and weakly at the O/W interface, forming a viscoelastic layer around the oil droplets. The smallest lignin particles (∼39 nm) presented an intermediate hydrophilic character. They were uniform in size and formed rigid interfacial layers on the oil droplets. Accordingly, the devised relationship between particle morphogenesis and O/W stabilization capacity enabled the customization of lignin (size and wetting characteristics), allowing broader utilization in multiphase systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3671-3679
Number of pages9
JournalGreen Chemistry
Issue number9
Early online date6 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Dive into the research topics of 'Interfacial activity and Pickering stabilization of kraft lignin particles obtained by solvent fractionation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this