Stora Enso and Valmet collaborate to develop next-generation lignin

Stora Enso and Valmet have started collaborating on next-generation lignin product and process development to drive Stora Enso’s lignin-based businesses and further improve the performance of the Valmet LignoBoost technology. The objective of the partnership is to further develop the quality and customer value of lignin, increase the supply by optimized process machinery and asset design, and to accelerate the speed of meeting the growing lignin demand of the future.

In biomaterials innovations, where Stora Enso’s agenda is focused on lignin, we bring innovative and sustainable materials to the market to replace fossil-based materials. Through know-how, strategic collaborations, and partnerships, we work to accelerate breakthrough innovations in areas such as lignin-based carbon for energy storage and bio-binders. Already today, wood-based lignin replaces fossil-based materials in asphalt, plywood, furniture panels, and dyestuff, to name a few.

With the cooperation for next-generation lignin, Stora Enso and Valmet will develop the lignin product and process further, benefitting from the superior technical excellence and resources of both companies. Stora Enso has been the largest kraft lignin producer in the world since 2015. At its Sunila site in Finland, Stora Enso uses Valmet’s LignoBoost technology for lignin extraction.

“We are developing our lignin offering to be able to meet the growing need for lignin and tailor it for our customers working with various end-applications. With next-generation lignin, we can, for instance, enable the development of sustainable battery technologies,” says Kimmo Ruohoniemi, Head of Lignin Operations at Stora Enso.

“Our focus in LignoBoost development is to tailor the lignin quality for improved end-product fit, reduce production costs, and at the same time improve the production process in general. It is rewarding to do this kind of product development where we have a clear and concrete end goal,” says Hanna Karlsson, Manager for Valmet LignoBoost Technology.

“For us it is vital to develop our technology together with our customer. In this collaboration, Valmet can succeed only if Stora Enso succeeds. The goal for both of us is to create new value-adding business. Our expertise is in developing the lignin extraction technology and other complementing technologies required to enable lignin extraction without any negative impact to the pulp mill operation,” says Jussi Mäntyniemi, Vice President for Valmet’s Recovery business unit.