Development of qualitative tools for industrial lignins
specifically for their use and modification
Lignins are complex natural aromatic polymers which, with cellulose and hemicellulose, make up the plant cells walls of wood and lignocellulosic biomass.
During pulp and paper manufacturing, lignins are partially degraded and are solubilized in reagents (black liquor). Thus, the global pulp and paper industry produces over 80 million tons each year. Most of the time, lignins are burned and contribute to the energy self-sufficiency of the factories. Less than 1.5% are valued as chemical additives, dispersants, binders or surfactants.
However, regarding their aromatic structure and reactivity, lignins are an excellent “green” alternative for the production of aromatic or carbonaceous products and materials. In addition to their bio-sourced feature, lignins woud contribute to a real diversification opportunity for the pulp and paper industry, which faces many economic constraints.
This project aimed to develop a range of reliable and easy to use analytical tools for the characterization of industrial lignins, to meet the needs of manufacturers and develop new valorization opportunities.
Thanks to the Teklicell platform and the semi-pilot lignin production platform developed within IntechFibres, the analytical developments and the validation tests were carried out on technical and industrial lignins.
Our teams now have new methods (simple, robust and reliable) for the analysis of lignins (Kraft lignins, Lignosulfonates, soda lignins, organosolve lignins), allowing their qualification for their potential applications.
Pulp and Paper Industry