(191c) Lightweight Functional Material from Sustainable Resources: Lignin-Soy Aerogels

Authors: 
Hoeger, I., North Carolina State University
Salas, C., North Carolina State University
Rojas, O. J., North Carolina State University

Recent development in functional materials using natural polymers has triggered a lot of interest in applications that required both lightweight and mechanical strength. Lignin and soy protein have been used in different applications in composite materials. However, the synergy between these two materials have not been fully explored in such venue. In this work we are reporting on in the production of lignin – soy protein aerogels. The effect of different lignin and soy protein ratios, coadjutant polymers (polyethylene oxide, polyvinyl alcohol and cellulose nanofibrils), as well as, the addition of a cross-linker (glutaraldehyde) on the morphology, rheological and mechanical properties were explored. After freeze drying low density, highly porous aerogels were obtained. The cross-linker increases the mechanical properties of the aerogel. Overall results indicate the synergy between lignin and soy proteins in the fabrication of aerogels and shows promise for the development of low-cost functional materials.