Lignin-based carbon fibers: Carbon nanotube decoration and superior thermal stability

Xuezhu Xu, Jian Zhou, Long Jiang, Gilles Lubineau, Scott A. Payne, David Gutschmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Lignin-based carbon fibers (CFs) decorated with carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were synthesized and their structure, thermal stability and wettability were systematically studied. The carbon fiber precursors were produced by electrospinning lignin/polyacrylonitrile solutions. CFs were obtained by pyrolyzing the precursors and CNTs were subsequently grown on the CFs to eventually achieve a CF–CNT hybrid structure. The processes of pyrolysis and CNT growth were conducted in a tube furnace using different conditions and the properties of the resultant products were studied and compared. The CF–CNT hybrid structure produced at 850 °C using a palladium catalyst showed the highest thermal stability, i.e., 98.3% residual weight at 950 °C. A mechanism for such superior thermal stability was postulated based on the results from X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, and electron energy loss spectroscopy analyses. The dense CNT decoration was found to increase the hydrophobicity of the CFs.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-102
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 23 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


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