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Uses of lignin

Lignin is the natural glue that holds wood fibers together. It is renewable and abundant and some of it is already being sold by pulp mills. Lignin can be used in a wide range of applications, ranging from fuels to advanced chemicals and materials.

BioChoice® lignin by Domtar

Domtar, North American producer of paper, pulp and paper-based products, markets their BioChoice lignin as a biobased alternative to petroleum products, and lists a wide range of uses for lignin. 

Domtar has recently also taken another step forward in commercializing lignin-based applications by investing in Prisma Renewable Composites, which is developing advanced materials from lignin and other natural resources.

Video: BioChoice Lignin from Domtar.

 

Lineo™ by Stora Enso

Lineo™ by Stora Enso is a high purity kraft lignin with great dispersibility and reactivity in chemical formulations. It is a product family of different grades, known as Lineo™ Prime and Lineo™ Classic, both of which are available as a free-flowing brown powder or in humid blocks of brown powder. For more information, see Stora Enso’s web page on Lineo™.

Video: Lineo™ by Stora Enso – kraft lignin.

 

Lower CO2 emissions - using lignin as fuel

Stora Enso reports that up to 70 % of the natural gas for the lime kilns in the Sunila mill could be replaced with lignin. Emissions of fossil CO2 was reduced by 27 000 tonnes per year.

Lignin can also be used as fuel in power boilers. The LignoBoost demonstration plant in Bäckhammar, Sweden, has participated in long-term trials (2007-2008) to replace coal at the Fortum combined cycle heat and power plant in Stockholm.  

Using lignin as fuel might currently be the quickest way a pulp mill can start getting value from the extracted lignin. A mill with a yearly production of 400 000 tons of pulp can, according to estimations, save as much as 20 000 m3 (5.2 million gallons) of fuel oil per year.