Published on April 4th, 2013 | by Anneli Hidalgo0
Swedish invention goes commercial scale
The North American pulp and paper company Domtar opens a first of its kind in the world facility on a commercial scale, based on the LignoBoost technology developed by Swedish research company Innventia and researchers at Chalmers University of Technology.
On 12 March, Domtar announced that it had started the operation of a facility for separating lignin from the process at its pulp mill in Plymouth, North Carolina. BioChoice lignin is Domtar’s name for the product, and production in Plymouth – capacity around 75 tonnes per day – began in February this year. The lignin is intended to be used for a wide range of industrial applications, for example as a bio-based alternative to oil and other fossil fuels, or as a raw material for other materials.
LignoBoost is a process for extracting high-quality lignin from kraft pulp mills. The technology has been developed since the late 1990s by Innventia in Stockholm, in association with Chalmers University of Technology, within the framework of three research programmes. In 2008, Innventia sold the LignoBoost concept to the technology company Metso, which is now delivering the first facility to Domtar. Metso and Innventia have been working together since 2008 to refine the technology and to develop new lignin applications in partnership with potential customers. Lignin is one of the main focus areas for Innventia’s research and development, and the work is being carried out in association with customers within the industry.
“It’s extremely gratifying to see the technology being installed on a full scale. Having worked on this right from the beginning, it’s a very special day when production goes live. Lots of people have been involved in the various R&D activities along the way, and I’m sure they all feel the same way too,” says Innventia’s Per Tomani, one of the people behind LignoBoost.
Innventia is a research and development company that works with innovations based on forest raw materials. Around 225 people work within the Innventia Group, 200 of whom are based in the Stockholm area. The three business areas carry out research and development within papermaking, biorefining and packaging development. The head office is located at the Royal Institute of Technology Campus in Stockholm.