Written by: Wienke Reynolds – Co-Founder and CTO at Lignopure
Recent trends throughout multiple industries like the cosmetic and pharmaceutical ones, show a shift towards more sustainable alternatives to reduce the dependency on fossil-based materials, and therefore serve new customer needs and concerns. We at Lignopure support this 100% by enabling the multifunctional properties of lignin to be used in a vast variety of applications thanks to its easy-to-use powder form.
Sustainable and naturally functional
This is our motto – not only when it comes to our products. We also live these values when it comes to the design of our production processes, using as less process steps and resources as possible. Aiming to supply a natural product, we intend not to modify chemically or thermally, but to boost its properties by smart, physical principles and good processes. Additionally, working with more natural, macromolecular lignin, poses a much lower risk of cytotoxicity compared to depolymerized/chemically degraded lignin fractions, resulting in higher product safety.
Lignin for diverse industries
Lignin has by nature plenty of interesting characteristics for multiple industries, however, crude biorefinery lignin not necessarily comes as an easy-to-use fine powder. Consequently, our task has been to bring the crude lignin into the form of a ready-to-use, ultrafine, smooth powder – maintaining its natural power, ensuring the highest quality and safety as well as a simple but smart, easily scalable process. And as if this wasn’t enough, we want to be able to process diverse kinds of lignin, to provide all our customers and their customers with the best ingredient possible.
This includes for example diverse bio-compounds, foams or other material applications which require optimized particles with optimal flowability and dispersibility. Our technology is scalable to large industrial capacity and can help lignin producers to qualify their lignin for higher-value material applications.
Lignopure’s patented particle technology
Bearing the above-mentioned requirements and possibilities in mind together with the expertise we have acquired since our foundation, we at Lignopure have created our patented particle technology, which has made it possible to create solutions for different applications in multiple product areas.
Our focus was to create a process that was robust enough to deal with very different types of sulfur-free, non-soluble lignins to transform them into consistently high-quality products. Starting with the selection of crude lignins, a vital step that enables us to control the properties and the quality of our product as best as possible right from the start. Also, having a process, that would use as less process steps as possible, be easy to become GMP-compliant and that uses hygienic equipment with proven scalability and the non-use of solvents or additives that might pose a risk to the end user. And finally, but not less importantly, we are aiming to valorise every bit of the raw material we receive, barely creating side streams.
With this great technology in place, definitely, a big step for us at Lignopure so far was the commissioning of our production plant in Buxtehude, Germany, in the spring of 2022 with an installed annual capacity in a fair two-digit ton range. There, we could prove the scalability of our technology with the raw materials we qualified, execute first test productions and nail down the quality of our material. Now, we are ready to reach as many customers as possible in the cosmetic industry with our newly launched product line called LignoBase and thanks to our application services also other industries that wish to use lignin for sustainable novel materials.
The importance of optimized particles in cosmetic applications
During the development of our LignoBase, what we were looking for was a process solution that was robust enough to deal with very different types of sulfur-free, non-soluble lignins to transform them into consistently high-quality ingredients easy to be incorporated into multiple cosmetic formulations. Additionally, we were aiming for a smooth and ideally spherical particle shape to achieve optimal color and soft texture for end consumers.
Another important point that we look in detail when developing LignoBase, was to ensure the transfer of the multifunctionality of lignin to the end products. In this sense, it is worth knowing that any functionality depends closely on the contact interface between the particle surface and formulation, and subsequently, the effectiveness of this contact rises and falls with the surface quality of the particle and thus the particle properties themselves. Also, in the field of color, the surface morphology, particle size and shape significantly influence the color of the powder itself, which affects the color of the final cosmetic formulation.
In brief, all our know-how and experience have resulted in our new LignoBase cosmetic ingredient line, which condenses lignin’s protective properties into three optimized fine-tuned powders ready to be used in applications from sun care to skincare and color cosmetics.
To know more about our Application Services please visit:
To know more about our LignoBase line, please visit: