Carbon microparticles were produced from organosolv lignin at 2000 °C under argon atmosphere following oxidative thermostabilisation at 250 °C. Scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, small-angle X-ray scattering, and electro-conductivity measurements revealed that the obtained particles were electrically conductive and were composed of large graphitic domains. Poly(lactic acid) filled with various amounts of lignin-derived microparticles showed higher tensile stiffness increasing with particle load, whereas strength and extensibility decreased. Electric conductivity was measured at filler loads equal to and greater than 25% w/w.
Keywords: SAXS; carbon; carbonisation; electric conductivity; filled polymers; lignin; tensile testing.