Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Borazjani, Hamid

Committee Member

Nejad, Mojgan

Committee Member

Hassan, El Barbary M.

Committee Member

Zhang, Jilei

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Sustainable Bioproducts

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Forest Resources


Department of Sustainable Bioproducts


Phenolic adhesives are widely used in the production of engineered wood products due to their exceptional moisture and thermal resistance, chemical stability, and bonding strength. The phenolic adhesive is currently produced through condensation polymerization of two fossil fuel-derived compounds: phenol and formaldehyde. However, due to fluctuations in the price of phenol and formaldehyde with the price of oil, environmental and health issues associated with using these compounds, there is a strong interest in finding alternative renewables feedstocks. Lignin is a natural polyphenolic compound with excellent potential to substitute phenol in phenolic adhesive formulations. Lignin is produced as byproducts during pulp and bioethanol processes. On the other hand, biobased aldehydes such as glyoxal have recently gained a lot of attention for replacing the toxic formaldehyde in production of environmentally friendly wood products. In this study, a wide range of lignin samples from different resources (hardwood, softwood, wheat straw, and corn stover), and isolated via various processes (kraft, organosolv, soda, sulfite, and enzymatic hydrolysis), were used to formulate 100% lignin-based phenolic adhesives. In a separate work, formaldehyderee phenolic adhesives were also developed using either glyoxal or gossypol (a dialdehyde from cotton seed) in combination with phenol. Chemical, physical, and thermal properties of lignin samples and developed phenolic resins and adhesive were measured using advanced analytical techniques and appropriate ASTM standard test methods. Based on two-way ANOVA analysis results of shear strength data, a biorefinery corn stover lignin that had the highest p-hydroxyphenyl and p-coumaric acid content was the most suitable lignin for replacing 100% of phenol in phenolic adhesive formulation. In addition, the developed lignin-based adhesive (formulated with biorefinery corn stover lignin) showed similar dry and wet adhesion strengths as that of commercially formulated phenol resorcinol formaldehyde (PRF) adhesive. On weight basis, the formaldehyde consumption in the developed lignin-based adhesive was 50% lower than the formaldehyde used in phenol formaldehyde (PF) resin. Moreover, two formaldehyderee formulated adhesives using glyoxal and gossypol (renewable feedstocks) had very similar physico-chemical properties to phenol formaldehyde adhesive.