From residue to resource: new insights into the synthesis of functionalized lignin micro/nanospheres by self-assembly technology for waste resource utilization
Among the most abundant biopolymers in the biosphere, lignin is a renewable aromatic compound that represents an untapped opportunity to create new biological products. However, the complex interlacing structures of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, as well as the unique properties of lignin, limit the utilization of value-added lignin. Lignin-based nanomaterials open the door for lignin applications in environmental pollutant remediation, biofuel production, biomedicine, and other fields. Herein, we present various factors influencing the formation of micro-nanospheres by self-assembly techniques through a review of previous literature, and emphasize the simple and green synthesis of lignin micro/nanospheres (LMNPs) under non-modified conditions. More importantly, we discuss the mechanism of the formation of nanospheres. Considering the heterogeneity of lignin and the polarity of different solvents, we propose that self-assembly techniques should focus more on the influence brought by lignin itself or the solvent, so that the external conditions can be controlled to prepare LMNPs, which can be used in specific fields. A brief overview of the contribution of lignin-based nanomaterials in various fields is also presented. This review could provide insight for the development of lignin-based nanomaterials.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Recent Review Articles