This project has the ambitious goal to lay the basis of the world’s first bio-refinery for lignin. In this project the first steps are taken towards certification of lignin crude oil as marine fuel in collaboration with a shipping company and a marine engine manufacturer. Using lignin crude oil in such a way ensures a return on investment in a short time, creating additional funding to further develop the products mentioned above.
Lignin is now a waste stream of bio-ethanol plants based on lignocellulose. In this project lignin is transformed into an intermediary product called lignin crude oil via a chemical process that was developed by the Eindhoven University of Technology. In a follow up step this lignin crude oil is fractionated and further converted to valuable products like phenol, resins and octane-boosting fuel additives. The lignin crude oil itself is a suitable marine fuel for which Eindhoven University of Technology both has patents and a specialized spin off company.
Project status 2017-2018
In 2017, the ambitious goal of this project to realize the world’s first bio-refinery for lignin has comes several important steps closer. Not only has 2017 been the year of the first patent application within in the project, but it was also the year that a spin-off, Vertoro BV, was founded, and the investment decision to construct a barrel-per-day CLO pilot plant was made. Moreover, the first application tests with direct CLO use in phenol resins production was demonstrated. Preliminary experiments with model compounds also showed promising results in the application fields of fuel additives and phenol.