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Synthesis and characterization of biodegradable lignin nanoparticles with tunable surface properties

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


Alexander P. Richter

Bhuvnesh Bharti

Hinton B. Armstrong

Joseph S. Brown

Dayne Plemmons

Vesselin N. Paunov

Simeon D. Stoyanov

Orlin D. Velev


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.


Richter, A. P., Bharti, B., Armstrong, H. B., Brown, J. S., Plemmons, D., Paunov, V. N., Stoyanov, S. D., & Velev, O. D. (2016). Synthesis and characterization of biodegradable lignin nanoparticles with tunable surface properties. Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids, 32(25), 6468-6477.

Acceptance Date Mar 21, 2016
Online Publication Date Jun 17, 2016
Publication Date Jun 28, 2016
Deposit Date Jul 25, 2016
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2017
Journal Langmuir
Print ISSN 0743-7463
Publisher American Chemical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 32
Issue 25
Pages 6468-6477
Keywords Biodegradable lignin nanoparticles, Tunable surface properties
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Authors' accepted manuscript of article published in: Langmuir, 2016, v.32, issue 25.
Contract Date Nov 23, 2017


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