A facile strategy to fabricate a lignin-based thermoset alternative to formaldehyde-based wood adhesives†
The utilization of sustainable lignin to synthesize wood adhesives has attracted increasing attention in recent years. However, the facile fabrication of strong and environmentally friendly lignin-based adhesives with a high lignin content remains a significant challenge. In this study, we developed a formaldehyde-free wood adhesive system by combining alkali lignin and poly(propylene glycol) bis(2-aminopropyl ether). The process of producing lignin-based adhesives involves a simple mixing of wood flour, lignin, and a commercially available crosslinker (polyetherimide), followed by direct hot-pressing into particleboards. The lignin-based adhesive showed a high biomass content of 75 wt% (crosslinker accounting for 25 wt%) and the internal bonding strength of the formaldehyde-free and non-toxic particleboards was 1.42 MPa, outperforming many other bio-based adhesives. The study demonstrates a new and facile strategy to synthesize a lignin-based thermoset that is readily and practically applicable as an adhesive to fabricate high-performance, high lignin content, and formaldehyde-free wood products.