Lignosulfonates have a wide variety of applications.
The single largest use for lignosulfonates is as plasticizers in making concrete,where they allow concrete to be made with less water (giving stronger concrete) while maintaining the ability of the concrete to flow. Lignosulfonates are also used during the production of cement, where they act as grinding aids in the cement mill and as a rawmixslurry deflocculant (that reduces the viscosity of the slurry).
Lignosulfonates are also used for the production of plasterboard to reduce the amount of water required to make the stucco flow and form the layer between two sheets of paper. The reduction in water content allows lower kiln temperatures to dry the plasterboard, saving energy.
The ability of lignosulfonates to reduce the viscosity of mineral slurries is used to advantage in oil drilling mud, where it replaced tannic acids from quebracho (a tropical tree).
Lignosulfonates are used to disperse pesticides, dyes, carbon black, and other insoluble solids and liquids into water. They are used in tanning leather. They are also used to suppress dust on unpaved roads.
Oxidation of lignosulfonates from softwood trees produced vanillin (artificial vanilla flavor).
Dimethyl sulfide and dimethyl sulfoxide (an important organic solvent) are produced from lignosulfonates. The first step involves heating lignosulfonates with sulfides or elementalsulfur to produce dimethyl sulfide. The methyl groups come from methyl ethers present in the lignin. Oxidation of dimethyl sulfide with nitrogen dioxide produces dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO).
Also one of the very wide uses of lignosulfonates is deflocculation of clays used in drilling fluids in the oil and gas industry.
Aqueous Lignosulfonate solutions are also widely used as a non-toxic dust suppression agent for unpaved road surfaces, where it is popularly, if erroneously, called “tree sap”. Roads treated with lignosulfonates can be distinguished from those treated with calcium chloride by color: lignosulfonates give the road surface a dark grey color, while calcium chloride lend the road surface a distinctive tan or brown color. As lignosulfonates do not rely on water to provide their binding properties, they tend to be more useful in arid locations.
high lignin content liquid products, providing superior surfactant (wetting) and binding performance in road dust management and soil stabilisation applications.
neutral pH, high lignin content powder product which provides superior surfactant (wetting) and binding performance in road dust management and soil stabilisation applications.
Use of lignosulphonate in the production of ceramics, refractories and clay bricks is beneficial for processing, product properties and energy consumption, because the dispersing effect supports mechanical homogenisation of the raw mixture and improves workability at reduced free water content.
Consequently, less energy is needed for processing, drying and firing. In addition, the binding property of lignosulphonate increases green and final strength, resulting in reduced cracking of the final product.
excellent binding agents for pelletising applications like the manufacture of coal briquettes and egg coal. Today, lignosulphonate is used in large amounts for the pelletising of animal feed, pet food and fertilisers, as well as metal ores.
The use of the appropriate additives enables the reduction of the pressing force on pelletising machines and this reduction of mechanical effort results in corresponding energy savings.
High purity lignosulphonate products. When used in crop protection suspensions, lignosulphonate acts as a surfactant by coating the surface of the active substances, simultaneously manipulating the charge of the active substance to ensure adequate dispersion is maintained.
High purity lignosulphonate liquid products and HANSA 201 a powder product. With outstanding dispersing properties, lignosulphonate is widely used in ready mix concrete, in a process which involves dispersing small amounts of lignosulphonate with the agglomerates of cement particles.
This results in lower water consumption during the mixing of concrete and the resulting lower water to cement ratio yields significantly greater strength after hardening. Lignosulphonate significantly improves the flow property of concrete and subsequently, is frequently used as a plasticiser admixture.
Dispersing agents or a combination of binder and dispersing agents are indispensable in the engineering of pigment master batches.
The dispersion properties facilitate fine dispersion of the pigment particles in the suspension, thereby helping to achieve the desired visual effects and overall performance.
When added to natural and REA plaster suspensions,enhances dispersion and promotes significant liquefaction of the slurries, thereby promoting lower slurry viscosity (given an equal ratio of water to solids) and enabling easier processing.
Process water treatment
If process water contains insoluble components, these can agglomerate and result in the build-up of deposits on the components of the plant through which the water flows. This can lead to disruptions in the process water cycle and thus to disruption of the overall process.
As dispersants, preventing agglomeration of the undissolved suspended particles, thereby eliminating or at least minimising these unwanted effects. In this application, lignosulphonate acts as an anionic tenside and also offers high thermal load as well as high stability in the acidic and basic pH range.
The phenolic structure yields benefits in tanning and leather applications.
Excellent water solubility and dispersing properties as well as suitable molecular mass distribution and low viscosity of aqueous solutions support fast, nearly complete penetration of hides, with physio-chemical reaction progressing over time.
Binding agents used to assist pelletisation and granulation during the manufacture of mineral fertiliser. Their adhesive strength offers excellent binding and low abrasion qualities, while their excellent water solubility allows for good release of components during weather exposure.
Lignin-based products which enhance polymeric strength when used in the production of recycled packaging paper. They are used in the paper machine size press to partially displace more expensive starch. This not only saves costs, but also enhances the strength of recycled paper and improves machine productivity.
In addition, the use of these products improves sheet appearance by imparting a darker more consistent shade, thereby eliminating the need to add expensive dyes. The products may also reduce dryer energy requirements, resulting in further cost savings.
By adding lignosulphonate through mixing or condensation during the production of adhesive resins, the bonding agent used in the production of chipboard can be reduced.
Be used in the manufacturing of resins. The aromatic structure of lignosulphonate molecules make them particularly suitable for the manufacturing of phenolic resins and melamine-phenolic resins.
Using lignosulphonate as a copolymer during the polymerisation process saves phenol and formaldehyde, thereby enabling more sustainable production and application of resins containing phenol.