Development of bio-polymer to replace fossile raw material in plastics

The forest is one of Sweden’s largest resources, but despite this, a large part of the forest that is felled is not used for anything other than burning. In total, the Environmental Protection Agency’s study shows that approx. 80% of the forest that is felled becomes short-lived products such as paper and biofuel.

The paper and pulp industry accounts for about 2/3 of Swedish forest production and in this process only about 50% becomes material and 50% is burned. With this project, we want to increase the use of the 1/3 of Swedish forest that is burned up by producing bioplastic from the lignin from pulp mills and biorefineries. Sweden uses approx. 1 M tonnes of plastic annually, of which approx. 99% is made from fossil raw materials.

The project, together with three plastic producers, will develop adapted recipes for lignin-based biopolymer that can replace the fossil raw materials with bio-raw materials from the forest, which today are only burned. The three plastic manufacturers work with the three largest plastics, polyethylene, polypropylene and PVC, and finished plastic products for these three applications have great potential to replace fossil raw materials with residual streams from the forest industry. The goal of the project is to arrive at finished products with decisions on implementation in the plastic manufacturers’ processes.

Participants

Lignin Industries AB, Emballator AB, Trioworld AB and Thevinyl AB.

Budget & time plan

The project’s total budget is 6,2 MSEK and the project runs between October 2023 and June 2025.