Imperial College London

Professor Tom Welton

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Chemistry

Professor of Sustainable Chemistry



+44 (0)20 7594 5763t.welton Website




601AMolecular Sciences Research HubWhite City Campus






BibTex format

author = {Vincent, S and Prado, R and Kuzmina, O and Potter, K and Bhardwaj, J and Wanasekara, ND and Harniman, RL and Koutsomitopoulou, A and Eichhorn, SJ and Welton, T and Rahatekar, SS},
doi = {10.1021/acssuschemeng.7b03200},
journal = {ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering},
pages = {5903--5910},
title = {Regenerated cellulose and willow lignin blends as potential renewable precursors for carbon fibers},
url = {},
volume = {6},
year = {2018}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - We report on the extraction of lignin from willow and its use to manufacture cellulose-lignin fibers as potential precursors for the manufacture of carbon fibers. The lignin from willow was extracted using triethylammonium hydrogen sulfate [Et3NH][HSO4]. The lignin extracted by this process was characterized by ATR-IR and elemental analysis, which indicated a high carbon yield. 1-Ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate [C2C1im][OAc] was then used as a common solvent to dissolve cellulose and lignin to manufacture lignin-cellulose fiber blends. The Young’s modulus of a 75:25 lignin/cellulose fiber was found to be 3.0 ± 0.5 GPa, which increased to 5.9 ± 0.6 GPa for a 25:75 lignin/cellulose blend. From a characterization of the surface morphology, using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM), it was observed that higher lignin content in the fiber blend increased the surface roughness. FT-IR analysis confirmed the presence of aromatic groups related to lignin in the obtained fibers from the presence of peaks located at ∼1505 cm–1 and ∼1607 cm–1. The presence of lignin improves the thermal stability of the fiber blends by allowing them to degrade over a wider temperature range. The presence of lignin also improved the carbon yield during carbonization. Therefore, the lignin-cellulose fibers developed in this work can offer an excellent alternative to pure cellulose or lignin filaments.
AU - Vincent,S
AU - Prado,R
AU - Kuzmina,O
AU - Potter,K
AU - Bhardwaj,J
AU - Wanasekara,ND
AU - Harniman,RL
AU - Koutsomitopoulou,A
AU - Eichhorn,SJ
AU - Welton,T
AU - Rahatekar,SS
DO - 10.1021/acssuschemeng.7b03200
EP - 5910
PY - 2018///
SN - 2168-0485
SP - 5903
TI - Regenerated cellulose and willow lignin blends as potential renewable precursors for carbon fibers
T2 - ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
UR -
UR -
UR -
VL - 6
ER -