Lignin – numerous uses and an exciting future
Lignin has numerous profitable uses and an exciting future. It is an outstanding biofuel with high heat value and can be used as a fuel in boilers or lime kilns.
When it comes to lime kilns the potential savings of using lignin are as much as 50 liters (13 gallons) of fuel oil per ton of pulp. For a mill with an annual production of 200 000 tons of pulp the savings potential is 10 000 m3 (2.6 million gallons) of oil.
Lignin is also an excellent raw material for further processing into base chemicals, like phenols. The current world production of phenols is approximately 7 million tons, all of which is produced from fossil sources. In addition, there have been successful trials at making carbon fibers from lignin. When this becomes an established technology, there is much more opportunities to make light and strong components for use in many areas, like for example in the car industry.