Using lignin as an alternate renewable material source.

Lignin is a side stream component that is available in large quantities from industrial wood refining processes. The objective of the project is to develop technologies to use lignin as an alternative renewable material source in selected high value applications, optimally aiming at reduced production costs while simultaneously improved material properties.

Various types of lignins will be studied as raw materials. In addition to chemical modifications, physical methods will be developed and applied to induce desired properties, such as surface superhydrophobicity. Three potential end uses are envisaged:

Multifunctional metal coatings: Lignin-containing metal coatings aim at protection against biofouling, water frictional resistance, corrosion and icing in demanding environments, such as marine applications.

Ultra-pure biogas: Regenerable adsorbent materials with high adsorption capacity and efficiency based on metal-lignin composites will enable the use of biogas e.g. for fuel cell power plants that have strict purity requirements.

Functional films: Biomedical applications require materials with anti-microbial, cell friendly, biodegradable and biocompatible properties that can be produced in film form. Similar materials can be used for edible food packages. Lignin will be studied as a functional component in such applications.

Despite of this wide range of studied applications, many of the them have similar material property requirements and thus a generic lignin modification study will be performed that serves the whole project.

Project partners:

* Project lead: Tarja Tamminen, VTT, Finland

* Orlando Rojas, Aalto University, Finland

* Anders Feilberg Aarhus University, Denmark

* Gunnar Henriksson, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden