Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5482-6735

Year of Publication

2021

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering (MSBiosyAgE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture; Engineering

Department/School/Program

Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Jian Shi

Abstract

Lignin is an abundant biopolymer and a promising source of feedstock for high-value chemicals and energy materials, however, application methods of lignin into valuable products is yet to be fully explored. This study explores the valorization of lignin derived from lignin-rich endocarp biomass through the development of lignin-derived electrode materials. The chemical composition and cellular structure of the endocarps were characterized using HPLC and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) imaging. Mechanical properties of walnut and peach endocarps and preprocessing requirements were investigated using nanoindentation and specific energy consumption during grinding. Next, lignin was extracted from endocarps using deep eutectic solvent and alkaline pretreatment methods and applied in the synthesis of carbon-silicon nanocomposites for energy storage application. The lignin derived composite electrodes exhibited impressive electrochemical performance in a half-coin cell lithium-ion battery with the DES and alkaline lignin retaining average discharge capacities of 1552 mAh/g and 1602 mAh/g, respectively, after 200 cycles. Results from this study provide a better understanding of structure and property of endocarp biomass feedstocks and demonstrate the utilization of endocarp derived lignin in electrochemical energy storage applications thereby improving the economic efficiency of biomass conversion.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2021.263

Funding Information

This work was supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Sustainability Challenge Area grant and multistate S1075 under accession number 1015068 and 1018315, respectively.

Funding year: 2018-2022

Available for download on Sunday, January 23, 2022

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