• FTIR;
  • renewable resources;
  • water-soluble polymers


The preparation of dispersants with carboxyl groups from acid lignin (a byproduct in the saccharification process of woody materials that are renewable resources) was investigated, and their dispersion efficiency was evaluated. In this study, sulfuric acid lignin (SAL) was selected as a representative acid lignin. To convert SAL to water-soluble polymers, it was first subjected to phenolation with sulfuric acid to enhance its chemical reactivity. The introduction of a carboxy group was carried out with two methods. One was carboxymethylation with bromoacetic acid, and the other was the Mannich reaction with glycine, sarcosine, and iminodiacetic acid. The carboxymethylation product [carboxymethylated phenolized sulfuric acid lignin (CP-SAL)] with 1.4 carboxymethyl groups per phenolated phenylpropane lignin base unit was soluble in water. The Mannich reaction products were also soluble in water with a lower addition of carboxyl groups than that for CP-SAL. Surprisingly, all the prepared water-soluble polymers possessed a higher dispersibility for gypsum paste than commercial lignosulfate. This may be due to the higher molecular weights of acid lignin derivatives. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 98: 2508–2513, 2005