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University spin-off offers technical cooperation on sustainable material innovation - development of high-value lignin applications

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Partner keyword: 
Composite materials
Biobased materials
Biochemistry / Biophysics
Biobased materials
Biochemistry / Biophysics
Speciality/performance materials: producers and fabricators
Polymer (plastics) materials


A Northern-German spin-off company offers technical cooperation agreements on feasibility assessment and further development of high-value applications based on the biopolymer lignin. Cooperation is offered to companies looking for sustainable biobased material alternatives, possible applications are for example cosmetics, food, composites, fabrics, porous materials, coatings, fibers or adhesives.



The idea of a biobased economy is gaining ground, based among others on the principle of closing loops of material flows and turning waste into useful resources. Companies that develop high-value applications based on non-food biobased output streams from other industries can design truly sustainable products and avoid dependencies on raw material supply. The biopolymer lignin in addition offers attractive functionalities:
- Antioxidant
- UV-protection
- Antimicrobial
- CO2-optimization
- Mechanical strength
- Flame retardant

Lignin is a biobased and biodegradable polymer from non-food sources, which is contained in output streams of biorefineries, pulp and paper industries and chemical plants. Lignin is an ideal and affordable solution to replace fossil sources and thus a natural alternative to non-sustainable ingredients with possible applications e.g. in cosmetics, food, composites, fabrics, porous materials, coatings, fibers or adhesives.

A spin-off from a Northern German University offers technological cooperation on developing customized high-value applications based on lignin. The company's work is based on experts know-how gained in years of university research and a proprietary technology to tailor lignin particles of specific particle size and porosity to create diverse valuable materials and intermediary products. Depending on applications demands, variations in solubility, temperature stability, pH, color, odor, particle properties and functional groups can be realized.
The company understands itself as a link between the industries with lignin-rich output streams and the processing industries in the materials and life sciences sector that can use lignin as a resource within their products. In addition the company started own production of lignin-based product lines in 2021.

The spin-off will accompany companies with lignin-based innovations, technical cooperation agreements may include:
- Providing biorefinery/pulp & lignin applicants
- Feasibility studies
- Lignin & application scouting
- Lignin tailoring
- Lignin product development, prototyping & scale-up
- Lignin and lignin product analysis
- Data assessment, cost calculation, life cycle assessment

Cooperation is offered to companies looking for sustainable biobased material alternatives that want to assess feasibility of lignin applications within their specific context and are looking for technical support to develop lignin downstream processing, particle optimization and lignin-based solutions.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
- Contribution to sustainable development - Lignin has many possibilities for high-value applications as it can be considered a natural high performance additive with unique features as mechanical reinforcement, UV protection and antioxidation properties

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Already on the market

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
Type: Producers of products, who are curious to find out if and how lignin or lignin intermediates could be used within their application context. Role: As lignin is rarely a drop-in solution but usually requires a new mix of materials, processes and formulations that are tailored to the lignin, the spin-off can accompany producers with lignin-related expertise in development of their own lignin-based innovations. This will require close collaboration with the company's development department.

Type and size

Cooperation task: 
SME 11-50,SME <10,>500 MNE,251-500,SME 51-250,>500


lignin-based products