Stora Enso launched bio-based lignin as renewable replacement for oil-based phenolic materials. 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.
Metsä Group, the Port of Helsinki and the City of Helsinki have reached an agreement on the use of the harbour and the lease of an area for a terminal building of around 30,000 square metres. The terminal will serve as an export warehouse for the bioproduct mill and will be completed before the mill is inaugurated in the third quarter of 2017.
The results of a field trial with genetically modified poplar trees in Zwijnaarde, Belgium, led by VIB – a life sciences research institute in Flanders funded by the Flemish government – shows that the wood of lignin modified poplar trees can be converted into sugars in a more efficient way. These sugars can serve as the starting material for producing bio-based products like bio-plastics and bio-ethanol.
The UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, has awarded a grant to a consortium led by Biome Technologies, to investigate a bio-based alternative for the oil derived organic chemicals used in the manufacturer of bioplastics.
The research will be undertaken by the group’s bioplastic division Biome Bioplastics, one of the UK’s leading developers of natural plastics, in conjunction with the University of Warwick’s Centre for Biotechnology and Biorefining.
The £150,000 grant (approximately 215,000 €) is part of the Technology Strategy Board’s ‘Sustainable high value chemical manufacture through industrial biotechnology’ technical feasability competition, which funds projects that apply sustainable bio-based feedstocks and biocatalytic processes in the production of chemicals.