Written by: Daniela Arango – CPO at Lignopure
Upcycled Lignin: A source of sustainable natural ingredients.
One of our most important goals at Lignopure is to make lignin upcycling possible and to enable the use of its natural properties in as many high-value applications as possible. There are industries already extracting lignin in their process of extracting and obtention of cellulose, which is used for chemicals, paper and textiles. However, lignin is not their priority, since it is a complex polymer, challenging to process and transform into final products. Therefore, lignin ends up being wasted or underutilized for low-value applications most of the time. As Lignopure sees it, the inherent functionality of this macromolecule can bring incredible value to final consumers and therefore, should be utilized in a smarter way.
Lignopure upcycles lignin by transforming raw lignin fractions from biorefineries that would otherwise be discarded and burned for energy. Our transformation process produces loose powders with a unique set of properties for different applications and industries. In the beauty industry, these properties translate into natural color, white-cast reduction, a mattifying effect, sun and antioxidation protection. Moreover, the natural brown color of each material offers the opportunity to cosmetic formulators to better serve an inclusive market. Other applications were the natural properties of lignin show great value are in the pharma and nutraceuticals industry.
The importance of lignin for circularity and sustainability
Upcycled raw materials, in particular “non-food” renewable ones, are crucial to establishing sustainable business models in manufacturing industries. Natural or renewable does not always necessarily mean more environmentally friendly. For example, the extraction of many natural products requires the exploitation of additional lands and soils and promotes monocultures. On the contrary, we at Lignopure want to promote the use of those natural materials already being extracted but not used to their fullest potential.
At Lignopure, we look forward to seeing lots of natural cosmetics containing our LignoBase™ ingredient line on the market. The goal is for people to use a cosmetic product that not only contains ingredients that protect the skin from the sun’s rays and oxidative stress while giving a soft focus finish, but also comes from upcycled natural sources.
We already utilize many parts of plants, let’s make the most of these precious resources and not waste a bit!