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Stora Enso launches bio-based lignin as renewable replacement for oil-based phenolic materials

February, 13, 2018 - Lignin is one of the main building blocks of a tree and makes up 20-30% of the composition of wood. Yet it has traditionally been discarded by the pulp and paper industries. However, Stora Enso has recognised the potential of this versatile raw material, which can be used in a range of applications where fossil-based materials are currently used.

The launch of LineoTM by Stora Enso is another important step on the way to replacing fossil-based materials with renewable solutions. LineoTM is available to companies seeking more sustainable, bio-based alternatives.

Lignin is a renewable replacement for oil-based phenolic materials which are used in resins for plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), laminated veneer lumber (LVL), paper lamination and insulation material.

Markus Mannström, Executive Vice President of the Stora Enso Biomaterials division, says, “Having increased our lignin focus in recent years, we’re delighted to launch LineoTM. Lignin is a non-toxic raw material with traceable origin and stable cost structure, and bio-based LineoTM is ideal for companies looking for alternatives to oil-based products. We believe that everything made from fossil-based materials today can be made from a tree tomorrow.”

Stora Enso has been producing lignin at industrial scale since 2015 at its Sunila Mill in Finland. The mill’s capacity is 50 000 tonnes per year, making Stora Enso the largest Kraft lignin producer in the world. Stora Enso is already selling LineoTM to replace phenol, and the company is also looking at many other applications for this very versatile material.

A stable, free-flowing brown powder, Stora Enso’s lignin is separated during the Kraft pulping process of Nordic softwood. The company claims that LineoTM has a high dry content, superior dispersibility and long storage time. With a higher reactivity and purity, LineoTM is consistent from batch to batch and Stora Enso can supply different levels of dryness, according to customer demand, the company says.

Biomaterials division offers a variety of pulp grades to meet the demands of paper, board, tissue, textile and hygiene product producers. Stora Enso says that it also develop new ways to maximise the value extractable from wood, as well as other kinds of lignocellulosic biomasses. Sugars and lignin hold potential for use in applications in the specialty chemical, construction, personal care and food industries. The company has a global presence with operations in Brazil, Finland, Sweden, Uruguay and the USA.

Stora Enso is a leading provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wooden constructions and paper on global markets. It employs some 25 000 people in more than 35 countries with sales in 2016 being EUR 9.8 billion.

Source: Stora Enso