Renol - The link between the forest- and the plastic industry
|Coordinator||REN FUEL K2B AB|
|Funding from Vinnova||SEK 350 000|
|Project duration||September 2017 - March 2018|
|Venture||The strategic innovation programme Bioinnovation|
Purpose and goal
The reason why we proceeded this hypothesis project was to enable the use of a renewable and biofriendly polymer, lignin, in ordinary plastic applications to remove and replace fossil-based plastics which contaminate the nature. Our approach to this is to transform lignin to a hydrophobic lignin polymer, what we call Renol, that can be used as is or as a drop-in bioplastic. In this project we have succeeded with i) we can produce a thermoplastic lignin polymer and ii) we can mix the thermoplastic lignin polymer with other standard plastic polymers to generate a homogeneous material.
Expected results and effects
We have prepared 6 different Renols based on 6 different catalytic chemical routes. Based on the performance, the most successful Renol was scaled to larger volumes and we successfully prepared 20 kg of extruded pellets of pure Renol. Perstorp evaluated 4 different Renols and the most interesting Renol was then further analysed and optimized based on amount of Renol to plastic ratio. Beside the blend in ratio, Perstorp has also identified the process conditions at which these polymers should be prepared at in a relevant process environment.
Planned approach and implementation
RenFuel and Perstorp had regular meetings and based on those interactions RenFuel made several different Renols that were analyzed based on molecular weight and solubility in other polymers. These samples were then further analyzed by Perstorp and processed in their compounder togethor with other polymers. The final formulation was then analyzed by Perstorp based on mechanical performance.