Lignocellulosic fibers and lignin are two of the most important natural bioresources in the world. They show tremendous potential to decrease energy utilization/pollution and improve biodegradability by replacing synthetic fibers in bioplastics. The compatibility between the fiber-matrix plays an important part in the properties of the bioplastics. The improvement of lignocellulosic fiber properties by most surface treatments generally removes lignin. Due to the environmental pollution and high cost of cellulose modification, focus has been directed toward the use of lignocellulosic fibers in bioplastics. In addition, lignin-reinforced bioplastics are fabricated with varying success. These applications confirm there is no need to remove lignin from lignocellulosic fibers when preparing the bioplastics from a technical point of view. In this review, characterizations of lignocellulosic fibers and lignin related to their applications in bioplastics are covered. Then, we generalize the developments and problems of lignin-reinforced bioplastics and modification of lignin to improve the interaction of lignin-matrix. As for lignocellulosic fiber-reinforced bioplastics, we place importance on the low compatibility of the lignocellulosic fiber-matrix. The applications of lignin-containing cellulose and lignocellulosic fibers without delignification in the bioplastics are reviewed. A comparison between lignocellulosic fibers and lignin in the bioplastics is given.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.