The Global Market for Lignin 2023-2033

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Published September 2022 | 135 pages, 21 tables, 39 figures | Download table of contents

The increasing concerns of environmental pollution and shortage of petroleum resources have fuelled substantial research towards valorization of bio-based polymers. Lignin is the second most abundant renewable biopolymer on Earth and the largest natural source of aromatic monomers. Its industrial use has attracted considerable attention because of its advantages of high carbon content, low cost and bio-renewability. Lignin has been a viable alternative to petroleum for energy, chemicals and materials.

Wood pulping and other biorefinery industries extract more than 50 million tonnes of lignin annually, but only ~2% is recovered for utilization in applications. However, it's use as a ‘green’ feedstock for fuels, chemicals, and materials is growing through the commercialization of extraction technologies coupled with transitioning towards biorefinery processes. 

Lignin has mainly been produced as an industrial residue of pulp and paper factories (e.g. a by-product of the Kraft process), and the majority of the several millions tons of lignin produced annually are utilized as a low-cost fuel for power and heat generation. Due to continued greening (i.e. renewable feedstock) of the global economy, new applications are being commercialized. For example, lignin-based renewable functional fillers are used in different rubber applications as a sustainable alternative to carbon black and silica. Recent developments include use of lignin as a carbon additive in li-ion batteries. 

The Global Market for Lignin 2023-2033 includes:

  • Market description and future outlook. 
  • Analysis of processes used to extract and refine lignin
  • Production capacities of lignin producers. 
  • In depth analysis of biorefinery lignin production. 
  • Markets and applications for lignin. 
  • Market demand for lignin in metric tonnes, forecast to 2033. 
  • Industry developments 2020-2022. 
  • Profiles of 75 lignin producers. Profiles include company description, products, processes and capacities. Companies profiled include Versalis SpA, Clariant, MetGen Oy, Praj Industries Ltd., Bloom Biorenewables SA, FP Innovations, UPM, Klabin SA, Lignolix, Inc., Lignovations GmbH, RenCom AB and many more. 

1              RESEARCH METHODOLOGY         9

 

2              INTRODUCTION 10

  • 2.1          What is lignin?   10
    • 2.1.1      Lignin structure 11
  • 2.2          Types of lignin    13
    • 2.2.1      Sulfur containing lignin  15
    • 2.2.2      Sulfur-free lignin from biorefinery process            15
  • 2.3          Properties           16
  • 2.4          The lignocellulose biorefinery     18
  • 2.5          Markets and applications              19
  • 2.6          Challenges for using lignin            21

 

3              LIGNIN PRODUCTON PROCESSES              22

  • 3.1          Lignosulphonates            23
  • 3.2          Kraft Lignin          24
    • 3.2.1      LignoBoost process         24
    • 3.2.2      LignoForce method         25
    • 3.2.3      Sequential Liquid Lignin Recovery and Purification             26
    • 3.2.4      A-Recovery+      26
  • 3.3          Soda lignin          27
  • 3.4          Biorefinery lignin              28
    • 3.4.1      Commercial and pre-commercial biorefinery lignin production facilities and  processes    29
  • 3.5          Organosolv lignins            31
  • 3.6          Hydrolytic lignin                32

 

4              MARKETS FOR LIGNIN    33

  • 4.1          Market drivers and trends for lignin         33
  • 4.2          Lignin industry developments 2020-2022               34
  • 4.3          Production capacities     36
    • 4.3.1      Technical lignin availability (dry ton/y)    36
    • 4.3.2      Biomass conversion (Biorefinery)             36
  • 4.4          Estimated consumption of lignin                37
  • 4.5          Prices    38
  • 4.6          Heat and power energy 39
  • 4.7          Pyrolysis and syngas       39
  • 4.8          Aromatic compounds     39
    • 4.8.1      Benzene, toluene and xylene      40
    • 4.8.2      Phenol and phenolic resins          40
    • 4.8.3      Vanillin 41
  • 4.9          Plastics and polymers     42
  • 4.10        Hydrogels            43
  • 4.11        Carbon materials              44
    • 4.11.1    Carbon black      44
    • 4.11.2    Activated carbons            44
    • 4.11.3    Carbon fiber       45
  • 4.12        Concrete             46
  • 4.13        Rubber 47
  • 4.14        Bitumen and Asphalt      48
  • 4.15        Fuels     49
  • 4.16        Energy storage  50
    • 4.16.1    Supercapacitors 50
    • 4.16.2    Anodes for lithium-ion batteries 51
    • 4.16.3    Gel electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries                52
    • 4.16.4    Binders for lithium-ion batteries 52
    • 4.16.5    Cathodes for lithium-ion batteries            53
    • 4.16.6    Sodium-ion batteries      53
  • 4.17        Binders, emulsifiers and dispersants        54
  • 4.18        Chelating agents              56
  • 4.19        Ceramics              56
  • 4.20        Automotive interiors      57
  • 4.21        Fire retardants  57
  • 4.22        Antioxidants      58
  • 4.23        Lubricants           58
  • 4.24        Dust control       58

 

5              COMPANY PROFILES       60 (75 company profiles)

 

6              REFERENCES       132

 

List of Tables

  • Table 1. Technical lignin types and applications.  13
  • Table 2. Classification of technical lignins.              15
  • Table 3. Lignin content of selected biomass.        16
  • Table 4. Properties of lignins and their applications.          17
  • Table 5. Example markets and applications for lignin.       20
  • Table 6. Processes for lignin production. 22
  • Table 7. Biorefinery feedstocks. 28
  • Table 8. Comparison of pulping and biorefinery lignins.   28
  • Table 9. Commercial and pre-commercial biorefinery lignin production facilities and  processes   29
  • Table 10. Market drivers and trends for lignin.     33
  • Table 11. Lignin industry developments 2020-2022.          34
  • Table 12. Production capacities of technical lignin producers.       36
  • Table 13. Production capacities of biorefinery lignin producers.   36
  • Table 14. Estimated consumption of lignin, 2019-2033 (000 MT). 37
  • Table 15. Lignin aromatic compound products.   39
  • Table 16. Prices of benzene, toluene, xylene and their derivatives.            40
  • Table 17. Lignin products in polymeric materials.               42
  • Table 18. Application of lignin in plastics and composites.              42
  • Table 19. Lignin products in fuels.             50
  • Table 20. Lignin-derived anodes in lithium batteries.        51
  • Table 21. Application of lignin in binders, emulsifiers and dispersants.      54
  •  

List of Figures

  • Figure 1. High purity lignin.          11
  • Figure 2. Lignocellulose architecture.      12
  • Figure 3. Extraction processes to separate lignin from lignocellulosic biomass and corresponding technical lignins.                13
  • Figure 4. The lignocellulose biorefinery. 19
  • Figure 5. Lignocellulosic biomasss conversion and products.         19
  • Figure 6. LignoBoost process.     25
  • Figure 7. LignoForce system for lignin recovery from black liquor.               25
  • Figure 8. Sequential liquid-lignin recovery and purification (SLPR) system.              26
  • Figure 9. A-Recovery+ chemical recovery concept.            27
  • Figure 10.  Schematic of a biorefinery for production of carriers and chemicals.    29
  • Figure 11. Organosolv lignin.       31
  • Figure 12. Hydrolytic lignin powder.        32
  • Figure 13. Estimated consumption of lignin, 2019-2033 (000 MT).              38
  • Figure 14. Schematic of WISA plywood home.     41
  • Figure 15. Lignin based activated carbon.              45
  • Figure 16. Lignin/celluose precursor.       46
  • Figure 17. Functional rubber filler made from lignin.         47
  • Figure 18. Road repair utilizing lignin.      48
  • Figure 19. Prototype of lignin based supercapacitor.         51
  • Figure 20. ANDRITZ Lignin Recovery process.       63
  • Figure 21. DAWN Technology Process.    66
  • Figure 22. BALI™ technology.      69
  • Figure 23. Pressurized Hot Water Extraction.       72
  • Figure 24. sunliquid® production process.             76
  • Figure 25. Domsjö process.          77
  • Figure 26.  TMP-Bio Process.       80
  • Figure 27. Flow chart of the lignocellulose biorefinery pilot plant in Leuna.             81
  • Figure 28. AVAPTM process.       86
  • Figure 29. GreenPower+™ process.          87
  • Figure 30. BioFlex process.           95
  • Figure 31. LX Process.    97
  • Figure 32. METNIN™ Lignin refining technology. 100
  • Figure 33. Enfinity cellulosic ethanol technology process.               106
  • Figure 34: Plantrose process.      111
  • Figure 35. Hansa lignin.  115
  • Figure 36. Stora Enso lignin battery materials.     120
  • Figure 37. UPM biorefinery process.        124
  • Figure 38. The Proesa® Process. 127
  • Figure 39. Goldilocks process and applications.   128

 

 

The Global Market for Lignin 2023-2033
The Global Market for Lignin 2023-2033
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The Global Market for Lignin 2023-2033
The Global Market for Lignin 2023-2033
Print edition (including tracked delivery).

The Global Market for Lignin 2023-2033
The Global Market for Lignin 2023-2033
PDF and print edition (including tracked delivery).

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