Source: future hamburg

Normally, plastics are petroleum-based. A group of researchers at the Hamburg University of Technology has developed an interesting alternative. The starting material is biomass, such as waste wood or straw. The result is lignin, a biopolymer that is suitable for multiple applications.

Plastics from biomass have two decisive advantages: They use renewable raw materials and do not become a recycling problem after use. An excellent base material is lignin, the second most abundant plant compound on earth. This biopolymer accumulates in the plant cell wall, thereby causing its lignification. For straw and wood, for example, its share is 20-30%. A lignin-based plastic would not only be based on a raw material that’s available everywhere in abundance. It would also be an environmentally friendly plastic that is completely non-toxic and biodegradable.

Lignopure is the name of the spinoff initiative at the Hamburg University of Technology led by founder Joana Gil and co-founders Wienke Reynolds and Daniela Arango. Lignopure GmbH’s registration took place in the fall of 2019. Initial income will initially be put into practice primarily through product development services in material applications as a beachhead market. By the end of 2020, at least three marketable products should be available in this area with a focus on cosmetic applications. In the middle term of 2022, Lignopure plans to be fully on the cosmetic industry market while offering project application services.

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