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Tue June 15 2021

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Bio binder offers alternative to chemicals for board and insulation

6 May Finnish wood products manufacturer Stora Enso has launched a fully bio-based binder system using lignin instead of the more usual formaldehyde and/or isocyanates.

Stora Enso’s NeoLigno binder is being marketed to manufacturers of particle board and mineral wool insulation as a lignin-based replacement for fossil-based binders or hazardous chemicals.

Lignin is nature's second most common macromolecule after cellulose. It is found in all plants and makes up to a third of the composition of wood. It is described by Wikipedia as: “a class of complex organic polymers that form key structural materials in the support tissues of most plants. Lignins are particularly important in the formation of cell walls, especially in wood and bark, because they lend rigidity and do not rot easily.”

Lignin is a renewable raw material free from toxic substances and fully traceable to its area of origin. Stora Enso has been producing it commercially since 2015 at its Sunila Mill in Finland.

“We are taking the lead in creating a new era of natural binders for healthy everyday living,” said Lauri Lehtonen, head of innovation in Stora Enso’s biomaterials division. “Companies are increasingly looking for safer and more natural materials to be able to offer high quality, fully bio-based end products to their customers. NeoLigno is based on lignin from our own production. With NeoLigno, our customers can develop products that are safer to make and use without compromising on technical performance.”

He added: “NeoLigno has many benefits: it is free from formaldehyde and isocyanate; it is fully bio-based; and it offers high performance.”

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