Synthesis and characterization of biodegradable lignin nanoparticles with tunable surface properties

Alexander P. Richter, Bhuvnesh Bharti, Hinton B. Armstrong, Joseph S. Brown, Dayne Plemmons, Vesselin N. Paunov, Simeon D. Stoyanov, Orlin D. Velev*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

172 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Lignin nanoparticles can serve as biodegradable carriers of biocidal actives with minimal environmental footprint. Here we describe the colloidal synthesis and interfacial design of nanoparticles with tunable surface properties using two different lignin precursors, Kraft (Indulin AT) lignin and Organosolv (high-purity lignin). The green synthesis process is based on flash precipitation of dissolved lignin polymer, which enabled the formation of nanoparticles in the size range of 45-250 nm. The size evolution of the two types of lignin particles is fitted on the basis of modified diffusive growth kinetics and mass balance dependencies. The surface properties of the nanoparticles are fine-tuned by coating them with a cationic polyelectrolyte, poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride). We analyze how the colloidal stability and dispersion properties of these two types of nanoparticles vary as a function of pH and salinities. The data show that the properties of the nanoparticles are governed by the type of lignin used and the presence of polyelectrolyte surface coating. The coating allows the control of the nanoparticles' surface charge and the extension of their stability into strongly basic regimes, facilitating their potential application at extreme pH conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6468-6477
JournalLangmuir
Volume32
Issue number25
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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