Evidence for a very slow disaggregation of lignosulfonates

Bernt O. Myrvold
  • Holzforschung, January 2015, De Gruyter
  • DOI: 10.1515/hf-2013-0242

Disaggregation of lignosulfonates

What is it about?

About 1.1 million tons of lignosulfonates are sold each year to a number of applications. To create new applications or better products for existing applications a good understanding of the structure and properties of lignosulfonates is important. One discussion in the literature on lignins and lignosulfonates is whether they aggreagate in solution to form larger assemblies or exists as single macromolecules. In this work we show that above a critical concentrations aggreagtes will form. Below this concentration aggregates will dissolve or disaggregate. The process is very slow and may take hundreds of hours. The very slow process may be one of the reasons different worker hs come to different conclusions over the years.

Why is it important?

To improve lignosulfonate products much effort is spent on the correlation between the structure of the macromolecule and it's properties. This work shows that even a seemingly simple property such as the molecular weight is not easily measured. depending on the sample preparation and experimental details there might be different degrees of aggregation and thus different molecular weights will be measured. This means that comparing lab samples with samples from commerical production in a meaningful way might be difficult. Not all the steps are similar and the measured molecular weight might be very different form the real ones. This might lead to erronous conclusions about structure property relationships.

The following have contributed to this page: Dr Bernt O Myrvold

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