The challenge with lignin has been that there are very few commercial applications where it has been a drop-in solution. As a result, it has been used as fuel. However, lignin, being the second most abundant source of aromatic compounds, provides wonderful opportunities for new bio-based chemistry and materials.
There is a close resemblance to the history of oil: the heat value was the first quality for people to utilize commercially until the chemical applications were discovered and they led to material innovations since the 60s oil-based materials have infiltrated practically all areas of our lives.
However, crude oil does not turn into sneakers, toys, car dashboards, or car tires without extensive refining.
METNIN™ Technology is developed to refine lignin to end-user specific characteristics. Our objective is to enable full valorization of lignin in chemical and material applications. This will make the products we use more sustainable, reduce the use of petroleum and plastics, as well as help fighting climate change by capturing CO2.
The list of applications is virtually endless – just look around you: That piece of black plastic you are looking at right now, the insulation in the wall and around every pipe, the cushion of your seat, the dashboard of your car, ad the tires under it, chemicals holding together that box your last internet purchase arrived in, as well as the plastic lining your single-use coffee cup or fast-food box, detergents in your laundry, water-proofing of your outdoor clothes, resin that holds together your kitchen cabinets or paint on your bike or boat… All of this can be made of wood and still be durable to match and exceed your every expectation. These materials can be biodegradable or – better yet – recyclable, and cheaper than the never-degrading stuff we cumulate in the oceans today.