Pyrolysis of Polyacrylonitrile/Technical Hydrolytic Lignin Composites
One important problem is utilization of technical hydrolytic lignin (the waste formed in paper-and-pulp and hydrolysis industry). For a practical implementation, the essential task of transforming insoluble hydrolytic lignin into low molecular weight products with high degree of functionalization should be performed. In prospect, these products can serve as raw materials for synthesis of various organic compounds demanded in chemical industry. Among other things, activation and fragmentation of hydrolytic lignin yields low molecular weight compounds which may be used for modifying synthetic polymers (polymer-analogous transformations). In the present work, the search for the optimal solvents (activators) for technical hydrolytic lignin (THL) has been conducted; the dimethyl sulfoxide/water binary mixture proved to be the best solvent. Methods of thermal analysis (thermogravimetric analysis, TGA; differential thermal analysis, DTA; differential scanning calorimetry, DSC; thermal volumetric analysis, TVA) combined with pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC-MS) were used to determine the grades of technical hydrolytic
lignin most suitable for activation and fragmentation. The necessary conditions for thermal treatment of lignin samples and concentrations of initial compounds (lignin and polyacrylonitrile, PAN) in the binary solvent mixture (dimethyl sulfoxide/water) facilitating maximum THL fragmentation and its successful interaction with PAN were found. When using the dimethylsulfoxide-water binary mixture (70:30 mass ratio) as a solvent, homogeneous forming solution of initial components (THL-PAN) was prepared. With the use of syringe method, form-stable fibers with a maximum lignin content of 80% and strength of about 50 MPa were obtained. Analytical pyrolysis of composites (products of THL-PAN interaction in the binary solvent) allowed us to suggest a mechanism for THL fragmentation involving the binary solvent.
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