Lignin: Wood-Based Material Researched For Its Use In 3D Printers

Prof. Dr. A research team led by Marie-Pierre Laborie is researching easy-to-process materials for 3D printers. As a result of the research, a viscous biopast (biological glue) has been developed, which solidifies rapidly and is suitable for producing complex structures using 3D printers. The substance under investigation is Lignin . Also known as wood pulp, lignin is a substance that strengthens the cell walls of plants and helps plants protect themselves from wind or pests.

Most plant tissues contain an amorphous and polymer substance called lignin in addition to carbohydrates and foreign components. The amount of lignin in mature tree tissue ranges from 18% to 38%. It is a waste product obtained from paper production and is mostly burned to generate bioenergy. Lignin is also found in grasses and grasses in different proportions. Research team leader Laborie, on the other hand, reported that they are doing research on this substance in order to use it more effectively in the future. They started this by re-examining a combination of materials researched by an American research team in the 1980s.

Liquid crystals based on cellulose, which is the main component of plant cell walls, provide not only the strength but also the fluidity properties of the biopast material. Lignin, on the other hand, can bond the microstructure together in the process of forming a biosynthetic structure. After the material adaptation process, it determines the properties of biosynthesis. For example, it reacts more rigidly or more flexibly depending on the direction the force comes from.

New Trials Planned on Lignin

However, it is planned to be considered as a lightweight composite and further research work on it until it has a chance to be applied in the industrial field. The team has so far used pure lignin produced in the biological refinery at the Fraunhofer Chemical Biotechnological Processes Center in Leuna in the research process. In addition to these investigations, the researchers will soon test a completely different possible use and try to analyze the quality of the soil with the help of bio-based material. They plan to carry out this experiment by examining the degradability of lignin and cellulose in various soil types.

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It is stated that this developed biological adhesive material can be used in light structures. Scientists published their first results in applied Biomaterials and Biomacromolecules journals.

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