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Novel Fiber Surfaces Functionalized by Lignins

Novel Fiber Surfaces Functionalized by Lignins




Åbo Akademi


  • 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
  • Rahoittaja

  • Business Finland
  • Budjetti

    1 051 429 €

    Åbo Akademin osuus budjetista

    736 000 € (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:

    Oral presentations at conference and seminar:

    1. Luyao Wang, Xiaoju Wang, Chunlin Xu. On laccase-catalyzed polymerization of alkaline lignin fractions in aqueous alkaline solution. International Conference on Polyphenols (ICP), 13-15 July 2021, Turku, Finland.
    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.
    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.
    4. Chunlin Xu. Key research of LigninReSurf project. ExpandFibre Seminar, 7 June 2023, Helsinki, Finland. (oral presentation by Luyao Wang)
    5. Luyao Wang. Tailored thermosetting wood adhesive based on well-defined lignin fractions: Lignin structure-property-performance correlation. 16th European Workshop on Lignocellulosics and Pulp (EWLP), June 28-July 1 2022, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    6. Lucas Lagerquist, Ellen Sundström, Oskar Backman, Luyao Wang, Andrey Pranovich, Xiaoju Wang, Patrik C.Eklund, Chunlin Xu. Challenges in improving compatibilization of lignin/PLA composites, ACS spring 2023 meeting, March 26-30 2023.
    7. Luyao Wang, Qiwen Yong, Patrik Christoffer Eklund, Martti Toivakka, Xiaoju Wang, Chunlin Xu. Emulsion polymerization of acrylate monomers with woody biopolymer towards sustainable coating. Nordic Polymer Days, May 8-10, 2023, København V, Denmark.
    8. Luyao Wang, Patrick Eklund, Chunlin Xu, Lignin nanoparticle-integrated core-shell latex colloids towards sustainable coating. 21st International Symposium on Wood, Fiber and Pulping Chemistry, 4–7 July 2023, Venice, Italy.
    9. Liqiu Hu, Wenyang Xu, Jan Gustafsson, Martti Toivakka, Chunlin Xu. Lowered wettability and enhanced barrier performance of paperboard through fully bio-based cellulose nanofibrils/polymerized lignin coating materials. 8th EPNOE International Polysaccharides Conference, 17–22 September 2023, Graz, Austria.

     Poster presentations at conference & seminar

    1. Oskar Backman, Ellen Sundström, Luyao Wang, Patrik C. Eklund, Chunlin Xu. New assessment method for the compatibility of lignin-poly(lactic acid) polymer blends. Nordic Polymer Days, May 8-10, 2023, København V, Denmark.
    2. Rupali Bhadane, Lucas Lagerquist, Chunlin Xu and Patrik Eklund. Lignin grafted copolymers: Synthesis and characterization. Natural Sciences for Sustainability 2023 conference, 14–16 June, 2023, Jyväskylä, Finland.
    3. Lulu Zhu, Luyao Wang, Oskar Backman, Patrick Eklund, Chunlin Xu, On the compatibility of industrial hydrolysis lignin with polylactic acid. 21st International Symposium on Wood, Fiber and Pulping Chemistry, 4–7 July 2023, Venice, Italy.

    Invention disclosure & patent

    • Luyao Wang, Xiaoju Wang, Patrik Eklund, Rajesh Koppolu, Martti Toivakka, Chunlin Xu. Method for preparation of lignin-based latex for binding and coating applications. Finnish Patent and Registration Office. Patent number 20225569.

    Thesis & Dissertations

    • Minette Kvikant. (2022) Fractionation and Characterisation of Enzymatic Hydrolysis Lignin. Master’s thesis, Åbo Akademi University, Turku.
    • Lucas Lagerquist. (2022) Structure and Properties of Soda-Type Lignin from a Modern Biorefinery Process. Doctoral thesis, Åbo Akademi University, Turku.
    • Ellen Sundström. (2023) Lignin Esters and Their Composites with PLA. Master’s thesis, Åbo Akademi University, Turku.
    • Luyao Wang. (2023) Structure-Property Correlation on Solvent-Fractionated Lignin to Functional Materials. Doctoral thesis, Åbo Akademi University, Turku.
    • Tim Salomäki. AI-Guided Compatibility Study of Birch Lignin with Polylactic Acid for 3D Printing. Master’s thesis, in progress.
    • Ann-Louise Hakalax. Lignin in UV Resin for Adhesive Applications. Master’s thesis, in progress.

    Research publications

    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Luyao Wang, Qingbo Wang, Emil Rosqvist, Jan-Henrik Smått, Qiwen Yong, Lasse Lassila, Jouko Peltonen, Thomas Rosenau, Martti Toivakka, Stefan Willför, Patrik Eklund, Chunlin Xu, Xiaoju Wang (2023). Template-Directed Polymerization of Binary Acrylate Monomers on Surface-Activated Lignin Nanoparticles in Toughening of Bio-Latex Films. Small. 19(24), 2207085.



    Ota yhteyttä

    Chunlin Xu


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