Having traditionally been discarded by the pulp and paper industries, Stora Enso has recognised the potential of this versatile raw material, which can be used in a range of applications where fossil-based materials are currently used - for example in resins for plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), laminated veneer lumber (LVL), paper lamination and insulation material.
Markus Mannström, Executive Vice President of the Stora Enso Biomaterials division, says: "Having increased our lignin focus in recent years, we're delighted to launch Lineo. Lignin is a non-toxic raw material with traceable origin and stable cost structure, and bio-based Lineo is ideal for companies looking for alternatives to oil-based products. We believe that everything made from fossil-based materials today, can be made from a tree tomorrow."
Stora Enso has been producing lignin at industrial scale since 2015 at its Sunila Mill in Finland. The mill's capacity is 50 000 tonnes per year, making Stora Enso the largest kraft lignin producer in the world. Stora Enso is already selling Lineo to replace phenol, and the company is also looking at many other applications for this material.
A stable, free-flowing brown powder, Stora Enso's lignin is separated during the Kraft pulping process of Nordic softwood. The company claim Lineo has a high dry content, superior dispersibility and long storage time. Stora Enso can supply different levels of dryness, according to customer demand.
Stora Enso's business is in packaging, biomaterials, wooden constructions and paper on global markets. One of the company's stated aims is to replace fossil-based materials by innovating and developing new products and services based on wood and other renewable materials. It employs 25 000 people in more than 35 countries, and its sales in 2016 were EUR 9.8 billion.