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Pro Lignin - High-Value Products from Lignin Side-Streams of Modern Biorefineries

Collaborative Project

Contract period: 01.02.2012 - 31.01.2015
Coordinating institution: Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd

The aim of ‘ProLignin’ project is to improve the profitability of present and future biorefineries, i.e. bioethanol production plants and traditional pulp mills, by up-grading of the side-stream lignins to novel high-value products. Substitution of the oil based raw materials with the industrially available lignin residues also creates more sustainable products. Special scientific and technological objectives of the project are: - Develop more sustainable lignin-based products (dispersants, resins, adhesives, foams and thermoplastics e.g. for coatings, wood products, composites, and construction materials) with main emphasis on resin applications. - Utilise chemical modification and base catalysed degradation (BCD) to enhance the lignin reactivity, create phenolic low molecular weight fractions, and also to adjust the material properties towards the desired products. - Convert the by-product lignins by catalytic pyrolysis to biofuels, and evaluate the potential of pyrolysis oil as a feedstock for the resin solutions (only if funded separately). - Define the optimal end-use applications for lignin fractions obtained in various biomass treatments (steam explosion followed by saccharification and fermentation, organosolv cooking, kraft pulping) and lignin fractionation (base catalysed degradation, catalytic pyrolysis) processes. - Main emphasis is on utilisation of novel sulphur free lignins from bioethanol production process (hydrolysis lignin, organosolv lignin), but also traditional kraft lignins are studied in comparison to create added value for the present pulp mills.

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Collaborative Projects

Production of lignins and smallmolecular lignin fragments

Research projects

Characterisation for structure property correlations

Research projects

Thermoplastic lignin for composites

Dispersants for coatings and fluid control

Leading institution: Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd

Catalytic pyrolysis

LCA assessment for sustainability evaluation

Leading institution: University of Milano-Bicocca

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