A novel biorefinery concept turns pulp waste into chemicals with care for the environment
Lignin accounts for about 20-30 % of the content of wood, and it is the second most abundant organic molecule on Earth after cellulose. During sulfite pulping of wood in the paper and pulp industry, the lignin is sulfated yielding water-soluble lignosulfonates (highly branched ionic polymers) as a by-product. The ability to valorise these biopolymers by converting them into organic monomers and other polymers for the chemical industry has many benefits. These range from greener chemicals to a circular economy with reduced waste, energy and raw material usage. The EU-funded SElectiveLi project will develop the technology to convert low-cost lignosulfonate feedstocks into high-value, bio-sustainable chemicals.
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