Novel Fiber Surfaces Functionalized by Lignins Refined and Engineered from Finnish Biorefinery Processes



Plastics with many society benefits are widely used for packaging and other applications in our daily life, however, have mostly ended up as for single-use and have accumulated in the landfills, oceans, waterways, and other natural environment and further entered into animal and humans bodies, threatening our health. It was estimated by 2015, human beings have produced 5.7 billion tons plastics and of that, 4.9 billion tons were discarded into the natural environment. Plant biorefinery is a renewable and sustainable alternative to the current petroleum-based industry and thus it is of key importance to address UN Sustainability Goal. Lignin accounts for up to 30% of dry mass of plants, but so far, most of it is burnt for energy.

The LigninReSurf consortium project plans to use the relevant lignin streams from Finnish biorefinery processes as raw materials to apply lignin-refining approaches to achieve well-defined fractions with well-characterized structures. Green sustainable approaches such as using enzyme as well as novel chemical approaches will be developed for tailoring these lignin fractions to novel bio-based porous membranes for water purification, new coating formulations for functional surfaces and packaging as well as other bioplastic materials for consumable products. Moreover, new 3D printing approaches will be explored and open vast business potential for lignins to be used in manufacturing those fiber-based products.

The consortium is coordinated by Prof. Chunlin Xu from Åbo Akademi University. The consortium has integrated the expertise and competences from cludes industrial partners from biomass fractionation to energy, chemical, and material producers covering the entire bio-based value chain. The project outcome will provide knowledge and solutions to all industries involved in ExpandFibre ecosystem. A more resource-efficient bio-based value chain will facilitate the transition of Finnish economy to carbon-neutral economy and make a strong impact on the environment replacing traditional fossil petrochemicals.
Gällande start-/slutdatum01/01/2131/12/23



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