Selected Kraft lignin fractions as precursor for carbon foam: Structure-performance correlation and electrochemical applications

Jéssica S. Rodrigues (Corresponding Author), Amanda De S.M. de Freitas, Cristiane C. Maciel, Chamseddine Guizani, Davide Rigo, Marystela Ferreira, Michael Hummel, Mikhail Balakshin, Vagner R. Botaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The rapid exhaustion of fossil fuels brings to the fore the need to search for energy efficient strategies. The conversion of lignin into advanced functional carbon-based materials is considered one of the most promising solutions for environmental protection and the use of renewable resources. This study analyzed the structure-performance correlation of carbon foams (CF) when lignin-phenol-formaldehyde (LPF) resins produced with different fractions of kraft lignin (KL) were employed as carbon source, and polyurethane foam (PU) as sacrificial mold. The lignin fractions employed were KL, fraction of KL insoluble in ethyl acetate (LFIns) and fraction of KL soluble in ethyl acetate (LFSol). The produced CFs were characterized by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray diffractometry (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, 2D HSQC Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET), and electrochemical measurements. The results showed that when LFSol was employed as a partial substitute for phenol in LPF resin synthesis, the final performance of the produced CF was infinitely higher. The improved solubility parameters of LFSol along with the higher S/G ratio and β-O-4/α-OH content after fractionation were the key to produce CF with better carbon yields (54 %). The electrochemical measurements showed that LFSol presented the highest current density (2.11 × 10−4−2) and the lowest value of resistance to charge transfer (0.26 KΩ) in relation to the other samples, indicating that the process of electron transfer was faster in the sensor produced with LFSol. LFSol's potential for application as an electrochemical sensor was tested as a proof of concept and demonstrated excellent selectivity for the detection of hydroquinone in water.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124460
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Carbon foams
  • Kraft lignin
  • Lignin fractions
  • Thermal decomposition. Electrochemical applications


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