Malvern Presents Proven Strategies for Successful GPC/SEC Analysis of Lignin

Chromatography specialists from Malvern Panalytical will present a reliable optimized solution for lignin characterization at a series of upcoming conferences in 2015, the first of which is Nordic Polymer Days, Denmark, June 1 – 3.

Exploiting the potential of multi-detector GPC/SEC for lignin analysis.

Lignin is a vital industrial polymer but presents significant challenges when it comes to measurement of the properties that define its performance. Through experimental study Malvern Panalytical has identified the best strategy to apply when using gel permeation/size exclusion chromatography (GPC/SEC) to secure reliable information.

The results of this work will also be presented at the 13th Annual UNESCO/IUPAC Conference on Macromolecules and Materials, South Africa, September 8 – 10; and the 18th International Symposium on Wood, Fiber and Pulping Chemistry, Austria, September 9 – 11.

Lignin is a natural polymer, derived from wood and other vascular plants, that finds application as, for example, a biofuel, a dispersant in high performance cement, and oilfield additive. GPC/SEC is used to measure the molecular weight (MW), MW distribution, viscosity and structural properties that control its performance. However, lignin has an unusual molecular structure in solution which compromises data accuracy when conventional, single detector, calibration-based GPC/SEC is applied.

Malvern Panalytical’s solution exploits the capabilities of multi-detector GPC/SEC. This involves the use of a light scattering detector to directly measure MW without any requirement for calibration. Here though, the tendency for lignin to fluoresce in solution, thereby distorting light scattering data, can be problematic. The data from Malvern Panalytical shows how careful choice of experimental conditions and methods can overcome challenges in the measurement of lignins and provide reliable results. A comparison of lignins from different sources, using a Mark-Houwink plot generated from the resulting data, highlights the robustness of the method in obtaining valuable insight into the structure of these polymers.

For more information on Malvern Panalytical GPC/SEC systems visit

Malvern Panalytical and Malvern Panalytical are registered trademarks of Malvern Panalytical

About Malvern Panalytical

Malvern Panalytical provides the materials and biophysical characterization technology and expertise that enables scientists and engineers to understand and control the properties of dispersed systems. These systems range from proteins and polymers in solution, particle and nanoparticle suspensions and emulsions, through to sprays and aerosols, industrial bulk powders and high concentration slurries. Used at all stages of research, development and manufacturing, Malvern Panalytical’s materials characterization instruments provide critical information that helps accelerate research and product development, enhance and maintain product quality and optimize process efficiency.

Our products reflect Malvern Panalytical’s drive to exploit the latest technological innovations and our commitment to maximizing the potential of established techniques. They are used by both industry and academia, in sectors ranging from pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals to bulk chemicals, cement, plastics and polymers, energy and the environment.

Malvern Panalytical systems are used to measure particle size, particle shape, zeta potential, protein charge, molecular weight, mass, size and conformation, nanoparticle size and count, rheological properties and for chemical identification, advancing the understanding of dispersed systems across many different industries and applications.

Headquartered in Malvern Panalytical, UK, Malvern Panalytical has subsidiary organizations in all major European markets, North America, Mexico, China, Japan and Korea, a joint venture in India, a global distributor network and applications laboratories around the world.


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