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Swedish firm receives funding boost to develop lignin-to-plastic technology

Swedish firm receives funding boost to develop lignin-to-plastic technology

June 23, 2020
Press Release: RenCom

The Swedish Energy Agency has granted SEK 14 million to RenCom – an innovation company active in making forest-based materials to replace fossil plastics. The support goes to a demonstration unit that will convert lignin from pulp mills to the tune of 1,000 tonnes per year in an industrially relevant scale

“This support is an important milestone for our commitment in scaling up our lignin technology to become a leading player in the cross-section of the forest industry and the plastics industry through green chemistry,” said Christopher Carrick, CEO of RenCom

“The demonstration can be a significant leap in the transition to more circular and bio-based products,” added Klara Helstad, head of the Sustainable Industry Unit at the Swedish Energy Agency. “Using lignin will contribute to a substantial biomass material efficiency, and the potential to transform the biobased economy. We believe it has a high industrial impact which will be important not only for the Swedish industry.”

Lignin, a component of wood that is the nature’s own binder, is usually incinerated for energy when producing pulp and paper. RenCom’s biorefinery concept has the potential to produce new products from lignin and thereby utilizing the most abundant by-product on earth. The technology offers the plastics industry a highly functionalized forest-based raw material, called ‘Renol’, that will reduce the consumption of fossil plastics.

“We at BioInnovation have supported the development of Renol from the beginning,” commented Anna Wiberg, program manager for BioInnovation. “We think it is very positive that the Swedish Energy Agency enters and supports an industrial demo of a circular and bio-based material that may change and contribute to the transition to a greener and more sustainable world with less fossil-based plastics.”

RenCom aims to supply the plastic industry with granulates that will be converted into plastic bags, packaging materials, bottles or injection molded pieces. The material has been tried out by several partners in the plastic field and RenCom believes that the end products, containing Renol, will be on the market already next year.

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