Lignin based adhesives for particleboard production
The purpose of this study was to utilise lignin as a partial substitute for phenol in PF resins. To achieve this, initially brown rot lignin was produced by a bioconversion technique. During the course of the study, it became clear that the production of brown rot lignin had a limited success. Since brown rot lignin could not be obtained in sufficient quantity and purity by a bioconversion method, other alternative lignin production methods, as well as commercially available lignin, were chosen; namely production of lignin from black liquor and Alcell® (organosolv) lignin. Before performing production of resin formulations, the lignin sources were characterised in terms of reactivity and physical properties of lignins. Both lignins had a similar reactivity, but organosolv lignin was found to be more pure, with a low ash content. Since isolation of lignin from black liquor in laboratory conditions is more complex and requires more time, it was decided to use organosolv lignin for subsequent production of lignin-based reSIns. The lignin was introduced to the resin in two different ways. The first method was the replacing of a certain percentage of phenol with lignin (as supplied) directly into resins. In the second method, lignin was modified prior to resin manufacture by phenolation. Different degrees of phenol substitution (from 5% to 60%) were tried for the production of lignin-based resins. Bond qualities of lignin-phenol-formaldehyde (LPF) , phenolated-ligninformaldehyde, commercial phenol-formaldehyde (PF _com) and laboratory made phenol-formaldehyde (PF _made) resins were assessed by using an Automatic Bonding Evaluation System (ABES), prior to production of particleboards, in order to eliminate some of the poor quality resins. The effect of press temperature and time on bond strength appeared to be highly significant, as the lignin substitution levels increased. Up to 30% phenol substitution was achieved without sacrificing bond strength. The bond strength values of phenolated-lignin-formaldehyde resins were similar to commercial phenol-formaldehyde and laboratory made phenolformaldehyde resins, but better than the LPF resins. It was apparent that resins containing a high level of lignin substitution gave the poorest bond strength values. From these results, some of the resins were eliminated, prior to particleboard production. In order to evaluate the quality of lignin-based resins, particleboards were produced and mechanical and physical tests performed. Effect of press platen temperature (140°C, 160°C, 180°C) and press cycle time (5 min, 8 min, IS min) on the mechanical properties of particleboard, produced by using lignin-based resins, were investigated. It was found that particleboards bonded with up to 30% lignin content resins gave similar mechanical and physical properties to commercial phenolformaldehyde resin, as long as a sufficient heating regime and time were applied.