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Inorganic Acid Catalysed Nitrogen-doped Carbon Dots from Kraft Lignin Waste and their Brain Cell Imaging Applications
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  • Yixian Pei,
  • An-Yi Chang,
  • Xuan Liu,
  • Hua Wang,
  • Hongbo Zhang,
  • Adarsh Radadia,
  • Yuxin Wang,
  • William Yu,
  • Shengnian Wang
Yixian Pei
Louisiana Tech University
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An-Yi Chang
Louisiana Tech University
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Xuan Liu
Louisiana Tech University
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Hua Wang
Louisiana State University in Shreveport
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Hongbo Zhang
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport
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Adarsh Radadia
Louisiana Tech University
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Yuxin Wang
Louisiana Tech University
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William Yu
Louisiana State University Shreveport
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Shengnian Wang
Louisiana Tech University
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Abstract

Carbon quantum dots (C-QDs) show great potential to replace traditional semiconductive quantum dots as the next generation of fluorescent probes. We demonstrate here a new C-QD production process using lignin, a high-volume but low market-value industrial waste and/or environmental hazards, as the starting carbon source. By adding a small amount of inorganic acid, the rich phenolic components in lignin were successfully converted to C-QDs through a coking formation mechanism similar to what happens on solid acid catalysts in traditional fossil fuel cracking process. The aqueous solution presence of the received lignin C-QDs is beneficial for brain cell imaging applications, attributing to their fast internalization, low toxicity, tunable photoluminescence by appropriate acidity and reaction temperature during hydrothermal synthesis. This method not only provides a low-cost C-QDs production route, but also helps gain extra profit and/or improve environment for many small agricultural business and paper and pulp industry located in rural area.

Peer review status:IN REVISION

06 Jul 2020Submitted to AIChE Journal
08 Jul 2020Assigned to Editor
08 Jul 2020Submission Checks Completed
12 Jul 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
06 Sep 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Major