Nature produces approximately 20 billion tonnes of lignin each year, second only to cellulose. However, only a small fraction of this is recovered, and much of that is burned for fuel. Now, though, we see 2021 as a pivotal year for lignin, as recovery and development of lignin is growing in pulp mills, biorefineries, and research centers. The greatest activity is with biorefineries that are moving beyond production of ethanol driven by government incentives and mandates, to recovery of a full range of value streams including lignin.
As Dr. Mikhail Balakshin of Aalto University noted:
“to render sugar/biofuel biorefineries economically more successful, the main focus should be on lignin."
The definitive guide to lignin markets and applications.
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