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Production and deploying of high purity lignin and affordable platform chemicals through wood-based sugars

Project description

Wood industry as the future source of biomaterials and biochemicals

Over 90 % of the carbon content of hardwood can be converted into high-value biomaterials and bioproducts. The EU-funded SWEETWOODS flagship project will ensure this by turning wood into high-purity lignin and wood sugars to industrialise innovative biomaterials and bioproducts. Bringing together nine European companies, it will create new industry-changing value chains in which wood (as a sustainable raw material) plays a crucial role. Specifically, the project will demonstrate the production of high-purity lignin and C5 and C6 carbohydrates from hardwood. These carbohydrates will be converted into bio-isobutene and glucosone. Lignin and its novel enzyme upgraded derivatives will be used in biocomposites, insulation panels and polymer compounds intended for injection moulding.


The objective of the SWEETWOODS project is to demonstrate on an industrial level successful and profitable production of high purity lignin as well as C5 and C6 carbohydrates from hardwood by establishing a biorefinery having throughput capacity 80 bdton/day. Unlike existing biorefinery concepts, SWEETWOODS plant utilizes all the fractions of the biomass feedstock, with min. 95 % of its initial carbon content utilised. The current TRL of the selected fractionation technology is 7, aiming to reach TRL 9 by the end of the project. The efficient fractionation and conversion of biomass is enabled by novel enzymatic solutions. The dried solid lignin and depolymerized lignin are demonstrated in novel applications, namely in elastomer foams for tube insulation, rigid polyurethane foam panels for insulation, and polymer compounds intended for injection moulding. The high purity sugars (at least glucose, xylose and fructose) are demonstrated in novel end use cases, namely in production of bio-IBN, and xylitol production. The environmental and socio-economic performance of the SWEETWOODS plant operation and the developed products are evaluated by performing a Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA), as well as a viability analysis.



Net EU contribution
€ 12 400 767,89
Moisa tn 4
13522 Tallinn

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Eesti Eesti Põhja-Eesti
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Other funding
€ 18 205 849,52

Participants (14)