08. July 2015

Wood Kplus Works on the EU Project "SmartLi"

The project "Smart Technologies for the Conversion of Industrial Lignins into Sustainable Materials", SmartLi for short, is researching uses of technical lignins (woody substances in plants) as raw materials for the production of biomaterials.  Lignins are solid substances in the cell walls of plants that cause the cell to become woody (lignification). Approximately 20% to 30% of the dry weight of lignified plants consists of lignins. This means that, along with cellulose and chitin, they are among the most common organic compounds on the planet.

The project aims to develop new technologies for using technical lignins as raw materials in the production of biomaterials. After preteatment and catalytic decomposition, they will be used as plasticizers in composites as a phenol substitute in PF resins and a polyol substitute in PU and epoxy resins.

In addition, the project will also demonstrate industrial feasibility. Because these new technologies aim to produce particularly positive effects with regard to the climate, the entire project will be accompanied by life-cycle assessments (LCAs) and monitoring of the life-cycle costings (LCCs).

International Partners from Research and Industry The consortium consists of thirteen research institutes under the coordination of the Finnish Bioeconomy Cluster (FIBIC). The project started in early July and is scheduled to run for three years. SmartLi has a total budget of approx. EUR 2.4 million and is funded by a public-private partnership from bio-based industry.

Besides prominent research institutes such as VTT (Finland) and Fraunhofer ICT (Leuna), Wood K plus is also collaborating with companies such as Sappi and Andritz.

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