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Industry News » Scientists developed a plant-derived material


Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a new, stretchy plant-derived material that outperforms the adhesiveness of the natural chemical that gives mussels the ability to stick to rocks and ships.
  
Unique Method to Extract Lignin
  
This bio-based material composed of lignin, the substance that gives plants sturdiness, and epoxy can self-heal and elongate up to 2,000%. Researchers developed a unique method to extract a specific form of lignin, a by-product of biofuels production.
  
“We targeted a component of lignin that is naturally rich in hydroxyl groups,” said ORNL’s Amit Naskar. “The molecular structure creates a super-sticky, highly elastic material that can heal quickly, where broken, through hydrogen bonding.”
  
This extracted lignin shows promise to replace dopamine for a range of industrial applications including coatings, glues and hydrogels. The results, published in ACS Macro Letters, demonstrate new potential for a small, but high-value portion of the lignin waste stream from bio-refineries and the pulp and paper industry.


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