Characterization of carbons derived from cellulose and lignin and their oxidative behavior

Xinfeng Xie, Barry Goodell, Dajie Zhang, Dennis C. Nagle, Yuhui Qian, Michael L. Peterson, Jody Jellison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


In this study the oxidative behavior of carbons derived from cellulose and lignin were compared using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Specific surface area and chemical composition of the two types of carbon were analyzed using nitrogen adsorption at 77 K and infrared spectroscopy respectively. The results demonstrate that cellulose carbon has a higher reaction order and lower activation energy than lignin carbon under identical experimental conditions when they were prepared at temperatures lower than 500 °C. However, such differences were considerably reduced for the carbon samples prepared at temperatures greater than 700 °C. It was verified that lignin carbon is more stable than cellulose carbon due to its higher content of aromatic structures when they are prepared at lower temperature. The specific surface area and porosity have a more limited contribution to the differential oxidative behaviors of the two types of carbon. This research has significance related to the formation of carbon nanotubes from plant materials during low temperature carbonization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1797-1802
Number of pages6
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the federally funded Wood Utilization Research (WUR) program at the University of Maine. This is publication 3022 of the Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station.


  • Carbon
  • Cellulose
  • Lignin
  • Nanotube
  • Oxidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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