Project 6:
Value-added products from lignin

Main ideas and research focus for products from lignin

Lignin is an important constituent of all biomass, amounting to 15-30 wt% or up to 40% by energy. To render biorefining processes attractive, it is important to get a higher value out of this stream. With the introduction of biorefineries a new type of lignin will become available compared to current lignins from the pulp and paper industry.

The project will apply an integrated conversion and refining approach, aiming at developing sustainable processes for value-added products such as phenolic binders, guaiacol, other phenols and methanol. Special emphasis will be on the initial solubilisation and depolymerisation using catalysed supercritical hydrothermal treatments with step temperature changes but also enzymatic approaches may be used.

Development of partly depolymerized lignin as well as repolymerized lignin monomers for binding to mineral fibers will be a key element in the project. Unexploited fractions will be considered for liquid fuel applications.

Objectives

Development and comparative evaluation of new methods for conversion of lignin into
value-added products such as phenols and functional binders.