Characterization of Organosolv Lignins using Thermal and FT-IR Spectroscopic Analysis
A group of biomass-derived lignins isolated using organosolv fractionation was characterized by FT-IR spectral and thermal property analysis coupled with multivariate analysis. The principal component analysis indicated that there were significant variations between the hardwood, softwood, and grass lignins due to the differences in syringyl and guaiacyl units as well as the different processing temperatures and times used to isolate the lignins. Partial least squares regression revealed that the concentration of syringyl units was the foremost factor behind the variation in glass transition temperature (Tg) for each lignin sample. It was concluded that structural variations resulting from altering the processing time and temperature and the lignin species directly affect the thermal properties of the lignin. Therefore, by determining the thermal properties of a lignin sample, a basic understanding of its structure can be developed.