The era of affordable sugars, renewable biochemical and bio-based materials from lignocellulosic feedstock are here. Enabling a paradigm shift from petroleum and change over to renewable biomass, the new fractionation technologies of lignin allow the entire biomass to be utilized. Lignocellulosic biomass – a variety of non-edible, woody materials – is the largest renewable reservoir of fermentable carbohydrates, aromatic compounds, and other chemical building blocks. With the new wave of biotechnology, controlled size, solubility, and activity of lignin can be achieved.
As the exact lignin structure depends on biomass used, lignin fractionation process significantly affects the properties of lignin produced. Most of the lignin produced today is treated as a side stream and mostly used as black liquor for energy purposes. Without treatment, lignin is not usable for value-added products. Controlled fragmentation, polymerization, depolymerization, and activation allows the use of lignin in products such as paints, adhesives, artificial fibers, fertilizers, pesticides and naturally, plastics. Industries such as biorefining, bioplastics, and wood processing can directly benefit from solutions allowing for controlled size, solubility, activity, glass transition temperature and morphology of lignin material.
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