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BioLi2.0 – From lignin to bio-based fuels and chemicals

Published 22/08/2016
The strategic innovation programme BioInnovation has been granted its third innovation project – BioLi2.0 –”From lignin to bio-based fuels and chemicals”. Within the framework of the project companies, research institutes and academics will co-operate over 2.5 years to develop processes for the production of fuels and chemicals based on renewable lignin as a replacement for fossil fuels and petroleum-based products. The project will be led by Marie Anheden from Innventia and has a total budget of 46.9 MSEK.


Background to the project
The use of oil is constantly increasing in the world. To meet the challenge of increased emissions of carbon dioxide it is necessary to increase the use of renewable raw materials with shorter life cycles. For plants the life cycle is between less than a year and a few decades. 

Lignin as a renewable resource has great potential for the chemical and petroleum industries. Lignin is the second most common component after cellulose in plants and functions as a skeleton. Around 20-30% of trees and other plants consist of lignin. Lignin is used on a large scale today in the pulp- and paper industry for producing steam and electricity, but through energy savings, greater effectiveness and the use of other side-streams from the forest for energy production, the potential for other uses is large and increasing.

Marie Anheden“By using new chemical processes, that will be developed by the project, the lignin can be extracted, refined and modified so that it has similar properties, and will work as an alternative, to petroleum raw materials like coal and oil,” says project manager Marie Anheden. 

The use of lignin from forest materials is expected to contribute to increased sustainability in Swedish society in many ways:

Reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from the transport sector and from chemical products

Replacement of fossil-based raw materials with renewable material contributes to increased sustainability 

More secure energy sources by the use of Swedish resources and raw materials• New business opportunities for the industries involved (primarily the forest industry and the petrochemical industry in the refinery sector)

Potential to use the techniques developed in order to tap into other sources of lignin from other processes

The project’s goals
One goal of the project is to develop chosen technologies and establish value chains for lignin, as well as to increase the technological maturity level – from development on a small scale to the demonstration of prototypes in relevant industrial environment. 

The project will contribute to establishing a first demonstration plant, which can exemplify a full value chain from lignin to final product in the form of chemicals or fuels, to be in production in Sweden within five years of the start of the project. 

Implementation
The project will be carried out by 28 parties from industry, research institutes and universities in Sweden. The project is divided into six sub-projects that cover the chain from raw materials to products via chemical processing and purification. The project will contribute to development and scale up of new processes and also evaluate the technical and economic potential for different value chains.

The project is financed by Vinnova, the Swedish Research Council Formas and the Swedish Energy Agency as well as the participants in the project. 

For more information about the project please contact: 
Marie Anheden, Project ManagerInnventia
Tel: + 46 76 876 7109E-mail: marie.anheden@innventia.com 

For more information about BioInnovation please contact: 
Susanna Winzenburg, Program Manager
Tel: + 46 76 822 7992E-mail: susanna.winzenburg@bioinnovation.se 

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