Biopolymers put to industrial use at phenolic-resin producer Prefere Resins

Erkner, 19 December 2017
Prefere Resins has become Europe's first manufacturer to produce a phenolic resin in which much of the phenol is replaced by lignin.

Apart from cellulose and chitin, lignin is the most frequently occurring polymer in nature – and the only one to contain many of the aromatic compounds that are normally recovered from mineral oil.

Every year the world produces around 50 million tonnes of lignin as a by-product of the paper industry. The material potential of lignin, which in this case is generated as black liquor, has as yet been very little realised: 98 percent of this material is currently incinerated.

Prefere Resins has now developed to industrial scale a binder for the panel application materials in which 50 percent of the phenol has been replaced by lignin. Prefere’s Finnish plant at Hamina is currently producing the new lignin-phenol resin on a regular basis. When used at our customers, the binder offers the same high qualities as conventional phenolic resin.

Commenting on the success of this new product line, Claudia Eigner, Vice President Sales & Marketing, said: 'Prefere is taking a lead here in the use of renewable resources for the production of phenolic resins ...We are pleased to say that we are now in a position to produce lignin-phenol resins of the required quality on an industrial scale'.

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