Metsä Fibre is planning a 2 TPD demonstration plant for a modified lignin product at its Äänekoski, Finland, bioproduct mill. The project is being undertaken in cooperation with ANDRITZ.
May 29, 2023
Metsä Fibre, Metsä Group, is cooperating with ANDRITZ to build a 2 TPD (approx) demonstration plant for a modified lignin product at its Äänekoski bioproduct mill in Finland. The plant will undertake the process of separating lignin from black liquor in pulp production and shall further process it for new end-uses.
The technical assessment and development of the product for end-use applications is being driven by Dow, a leading material science company. An investment decision on the plant is expected to be made during the course of this year.
In pulp production, lignin acts as a binder for wood fibres and is removed from fibres. Although it is traditionally used for bioenergy production, it has a number of other potential uses. The production of modified lignin and its suitability for replacing fossil-based chemicals in concrete production has been demonstrated on a pilot scale in a four-year EU project. This project will assess the techno-economic viability of the technology and the product in a continuous demonstration scale integrated into a bioproduct mill. The high-performance bio-dispersant products produced in the demonstration plant could be used as bio-based concrete and gypsum water reducer used in construction markets.
Mr. Ismo Nousiainen, CEO of Metsä Fibre, says, “It is important that we actively develop alternatives made from renewable raw materials to replace fossil materials and feedstocks. This will further strengthen our bioproduct mill concept, which aims to utilize all pulp production side streams into products with the highest possible added value.”
Mr. Kari Tuominen, President & CEO of ANDRITZ Oy, commented, “The development of LigniOx technology is an excellent practical example of our CircleToZero initiative, which includes new technologies aimed at minimizing and optimizing pulp mill side streams. The development of LigniOx technology has been done in close cooperation with the entire value chain and with the support of leading research institutes. The production of a high-grade lignin product from the side stream of the pulping process creates added value and effectiveness both from an environmental and financial point of view.”