Lignin, the second most frequently occurring polymer in nature, can be a valuable substitute to approximately 50M tonnes of various products based on crude oil. It acts as a radical scavenger when added to a mixture removing or de-activating impurities. However, while it has many advantages over other techniques, lignin depolymerisation leads to the formation of coke.
Innovation: Kompetenzzentrum Holz GmbH (Wood K plus), EARTO member through UAR, developed a new technique to avoid coke generation during lignin depolymerisation: hydrotalcites will be applied as heterogeneous base catalysts in aqueus systems. This will make lignin accessible as stabilizer for polyolefins. The lignin stabilisers can be applied to form biobased resins, aerogels and carbogels, having similar performance with common stabilisers, in order to overcome the limitations of typical polyolefin stabilisers.
Impact Expected: This innovation has been conducted through the project BioRest, within the Programme line EFRE. Industrial partners, as well as aerogel and wood panel manufacturers, are involved in the process development and will act as lead applicants in the next few years. The project will reach the market within 3 years.