This short critical review outlines possible scenarios for using lignin as a feedstock in a biorefinery environment. We first explain the position of biomass with respect to fossil carbon sources and the possibilities of substituting these in tomorrow’s transportation fuels, energy, and chemicals sectors. Of these, the conversion of biomass to chemicals is, in our opinion, the most worthy. Focusing on lignin, we describe the four main processes for its industrial separation (the Sulfite, Soda, Kraft, and Organosolv processes). Then, we detail several short- and long-term perspectives for its valorisation to aromatics, polymers and materials, as well as new products and in-the-pipeline processes. Finally, we examine the limitations in current lignin valorisation and suggest possible ways forward. Combining the chemical aspects with up-to-date data from economic analyses gives a pragmatic and realistic overview of the commercial applications and possibilities for lignin in the coming decades, where biomass will join shale gas and crude oil as a valid and economical carbon source.
Reference: Zea Strassberger, Stefania Tanasea and Gadi Rothenberg
RSC Adv., 2014,4, 25310-25318
Due to global ecological and economic challenges that have been correlated to the transition from fossil-based to renewable resources, fundamental studies are being performed worldwide to replace fossil fuel raw materials in plastic production. One aspect of current research is the development of lignin-derived polyols to substitute expensive fossil-based polyol components for polyurethane and polyester production. This article describes the synthesis of bioactive lignin-based polyurethane coatings using unmodified and demethylated Kraft lignins. Demethylation was performed to enhance the reaction selectivity toward polyurethane formation. The antimicrobial activity was tested according to a slightly modified standard test (JIS Z 2801:2010). Besides effects caused by the lignins themselves, triphenylmethane derivatives (brilliant green and crystal violet) were used as additional antimicrobial substances. Results showed increased antimicrobial capacity against Staphylococcus aureus. Furthermore, the coating color could be varied from dark brown to green and blue, respectively.
Reference: Klein, S.E.; Alzagameem, A.; Rumpf, J.; Korte, I.; Kreyenschmidt, J.; Schulze, M. Coatings 2019, 9, 494.
Project Coordination team: FUNDACION TECNALIA RESEARCH & INNOVATION
Parque Cientifico Y Tecnologico De Gipuzkoa Paseo Mikeletegi 2, 20009 Donostia/san Sebastian (Gipuzkoa), Spain
Project Title: Sustainable coatings based on lignin resins and bio-additives with improved fire, corrosion and biological resistance BBI-2020-SO3-R5: Improve the sustainability of coatings (RIA)
The LIGNICOAT project has received funding from the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Grant Agreement No. 101023342.
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