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Global R&D unlocks potential of wood lignin as alternative to petroleum-based additives – RISI study

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Global R&D unlocks potential of wood lignin as alternative to petroleum-based additives – RISI study

August 25, 2016 - 11:58

BOSTON, Aug. 25, 2016 (Press Release) -As demand for some forest products slows, pulp and paper producers are seeking new applications for materials derived from trees. One promising substance is lignin – the energy-dense “glue” that holds the cellulose in trees together. RISI today releasedLignin: Technology, Applications and Markets, a comprehensive study of lignin’s current and potential uses as an industrial material.

The newRISI reportincludes more than 40 detailed profiles of businesses that are researching new markets for lignin, which is an under-utilized byproduct of the wood pulping process. Lignin derivatives are already found in products from cement to carbon fiber, and could replace petroleum-based ingredients in many more.

“Lignin has the potential to replace petroleum-based additives in thousands of products,” said study lead author Jack Miller. “It can be refined into fine chemicals used in cutting-edge materials and even food flavorings, and it could also be scaled up as an energy source.

“The big question is which new lignin technologies and applications are closest to commercial viability.”

Lignin: Technology, Applications and Marketsis a thorough exploration of that question. Along with a survey of major R&D efforts worldwide, it provides a 10-year forecast of production volumes for the three most important types of lignin: Kraft lignin, biorefinery lignin, and lignosulfonate.

Miller, who produced the study with support from RISI’s Marina Faleiros, is a specialist in emerging materials in the forest products space. The authors’ extensive primary and secondary research makes this study a valuable tool for pulp manufacturers, chemical and materials companies, and their customers. It will also be of interest for academic, private- and public-sector researchers focused on the commercialization of materials from renewable biomass.

Some of the Companies with lignin R&D programs profiled by this study include:

  • Borregaard
  • Domsjö Fabriker
  • Domtar
  • DuPont
  • Fibria
  • Ingevity
  • Stora Enso
  • Suzano

About RISI(
RISI is the leading information provider for the global forest products industry. The company works with clients in the pulp and paper, packaging, wood products, timber, biomass, tissue and nonwovens industries to help them make better decisions. Headquartered in Boston, MA, RISI operates additional offices throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia.