The role of reduced graphene oxide toward the self-assembly of lignin-based biocomposites fabricated from ionic liquids

Dalia Al-Shahrani, Stacy A. Love, David Salas-De la Cruz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Lignin’s immiscibility with most polymers along with its unknown association behaviors are major factors that contribute to its disposal and processability for the production of materials. To fully utilize lignin, an improved understanding of its interaction with other materials is needed. In this study, we investigate the morphological and physicochemical properties upon the addition of reduced graphene oxide (rGO) as a function of material composition in a tertiary system comprised of lignin, cellulose and xylan. The main motivation for this work is to understand how the lignin molecule associates and behaves in the presence of other natural macromolecules, as well as with the addition of reduced graphene oxide. The fabricated biocomposites with and without rGO were investigated using Attenuated Total Reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) techniques, Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC). The results demonstrated that the regenerated films’ structural, morphological and thermal character changed as a function of lignin-xylan concentration and upon the addition of rGO. We also observed a dramatic change in the glass transition temperature and topography. Final analysis showed that the addition of rGO prevented the macromolecules to self-assemble through a reduction of π-π aggregations and changes in the cellulose crystallinity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3518
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 8 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


  • Biocomposites
  • Ionic liquids
  • Lignin
  • Morphology
  • Reduced graphene oxide (rGO)
  • Xylan


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