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Novel Fiber Surfaces Functionalized by Lignins

Novel Fiber Surfaces Functionalized by Lignins

LigninReSurf

Time:

1.1.2021–31.12.2023

Funded by:

  • Business Finland

Project coordinator:

Åbo Akademi

Budget:

1 051 429 euros

Project partners:

  • Prof. Chunlin Xu and Docent Patrik Eklund / ÅAU
  • Prof. Thomas Rosenau /BOKU University (Austria)
  • Prof. Denis Bouyer /Université Montpellier (France)
  • CH Bioforce
  • MetGen
  • St1
  • 3D Tech
  • Kemira
  • Mirka

Åbo Akademi University’s part of the budget:

736 000 euros (70%)

Novel Fiber Surfaces Functionalized by Lignins Refined and Engineered from Finnish Biorefinery Processes

Plastics with many society benefits are widely used for packaging and other applications in our daily life, however, have mostly ended up as for single-use and have accumulated in the landfills, oceans, waterways, and other natural environment and further entered into animal and humans bodies, threatening our health. It was estimated by 2015, human beings have produced 5.7 billion tons plastics and of that, 4.9 billion tons were discarded into the natural environment. Plant biorefinery is a renewable and sustainable alternative to the current petroleum-based industry and thus it is of key importance to address UN Sustainability Goal. Lignin accounts for up to 30% of dry mass of plants, but so far, most of it is burnt for energy.

The LigninReSurf consortium project plans to use the relevant lignin streams from Finnish biorefinery processes as raw materials to apply lignin-refining approaches to achieve well-defined fractions with well-characterized structures. Green sustainable approaches such as using enzyme as well as novel chemical approaches will be developed for tailoring these lignin fractions to novel bio-based porous membranes for water purification, new coating formulations for functional surfaces and packaging as well as other bioplastic materials for consumable products. Moreover, new 3D printing approaches will be explored and open vast business potential for lignins to be used in manufacturing those fiber-based products.

The consortium is coordinated by Prof. Chunlin Xu from Åbo Akademi University. The consortium has integrated the expertise and competences from cludes industrial partners from biomass fractionation to energy, chemical, and material producers covering the entire bio-based value chain. The project outcome will provide knowledge and solutions to all industries involved in ExpandFibre ecosystem. A more resource-efficient bio-based value chain will facilitate the transition of Finnish economy to carbon-neutral economy and make a strong impact on the environment replacing traditional fossil petrochemicals.

News and events:

Participation in conferences:

  1. Luyao Wang, Xiaoju Wang, Chunlin Xu. On laccase-catalyzed polymerization of alkaline lignin fractions in aqueous alkaline solution. International Conference on Polyphenols (ICP) 2020 Virtual Conference, 13-15 July 2021, Turku, Finland. (Oral presentation by Luyao Wang)
  2. Luyao Wang, Stefan Willför, Patrik Christoffer Eklund, Thomas Rosenau, Chunlin Xu, Xiaoju Wang. Solvent-fractionated alkaline lignins: from analysis and structure-property correlations to functional materials. Lignin Valorisation Conference 2022 organized by CA17128 LignoCOST, 1-3 June, Wageningen, Netherlands. (Oral presentation by Luyao Wang)
  3. Luyao Wang, Liqiu Hu, Stefan Willför, Martti Toivakka, Xiaoju Wang, Chunlin Xu. Laccase-catalyzed polymerization of lignin towards their chemical integration to functional materials. Nordic Polymer Days 2022, 1-3 June, Gothenburg, Sweden. (Oral presentation by Chunlin Xu)

Outcomes:

  1. Luyao Wang, Qingbo Wang, Anna Slita, Oskar Backman, Zahra Gounani, Emil Rosqvist, Jouko Peltonen, Stefan Willför, Chunlin Xu, Jessica M. Rosenholm, and Xiaoju Wang. (2022) Digital light processing (DLP) 3D-fabricated antimicrobial hydrogel with a sustainable resin of methacrylated woody polysaccharides and hybrid silver-lignin nanospheres. Green Chemistry. 24, 2129-2145.
  2. Minette Kvikant. (2022) Fractionation and Characterisation of Enzymatic Hydrolysis Lignin. Master’s thesis, Åbo Akademi University, Turku.
  3. Rui Liu, Annika Smeds, Luyao Wang, Andrey Pranovich, Jarl Hemming, Stefan Willför, Hongbo Zhang, and Chunlin Xu. (2021) Fractionation of Lignin with Decreased Heterogeneity: Based on a Detailed Characteristics Study of Sequentially Extracted Softwood Kraft Lignin. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. 9( 41), 13862–13873.
  4. Luyao Wang, Liping Tan, Liqiu Hu, Xiaoju Wang, Rajesh Koppolu, Teija Tirri, Bas van Bochove, Petri Ihalainen, Liji Sobhana Seleenmary Sobhanadhas, Jukka V. Seppälä, Stefan Willför, Martti Toivakka, and Chunlin Xu. (2021) On Laccase-Catalyzed Polymerization of Biorefinery Lignin Fractions and Alignment of Lignin Nanoparticles on the Nanocellulose Surface via One-Pot Water-Phase Synthesis. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. 9(26), 8770–8782

Contact us

Chunlin Xu

Professor 

Laboratory of Natural Materials Technology

Faculty of Science and Engineering

chunlin.xu@abo.fi

Tel. +358 440362088