Our vision for a
How we are changing the world with lignin-based phenolic resins – in a sustainable way.
Those who live in harmony with nature know how to make use of it in a sustainable manner. So far, phenolic resins as an example are produced from phenol and methanol, which come from fossil sources such as crude oil and natural gas. Applying the concept of sustainability means for us to convert our production towards using renewable materials as a basis. The use of renewable raw materials significantly reduces the release of CO2.
Nature as a powerful partner.
Lignin is that kind of renewable raw material. In nature, lignin is one of the main ingredients of trees. It works as the “concrete of nature”: Lignin lets trees grow upwards and gives them stability. That very property makes lignin highly attractive to substitute phenol in our resin applications.
Yet despite years of research, the potential of lignin has so far remained almost untapped. Even today, about 98% of the lignin, which is produced in large quantities as a waste product from pulp production in the paper industry, is burned for energy production.
Dawn of a new age.
After more than 20 years of research, Prefere Resins succeeded in 2017 in formulating lignin on a large scale as a biological raw material for the industrial production of high-quality phenolic resins. Initially, we started using Lignin as a binder for plywood materials, in which up to 90% of the phenol can be replaced by lignin. In 2020, we developed a lignin-based resin for phenolic foam. This groundbreaking innovation was awarded the “Brandenburg Innovation Prize” in 2021.
We are proud of our successes, but we see them as just the beginning. In the future, we will not only use lignin as renewable raw material. Even for important raw materials as methanol and phenol, bio-based versions are already in development. They will be available at reasonable prices within the next 15-20 years.
Binding CO2 in a sustainable,
By using the full potential of bio-based raw materials in our resin production, we lock the carbon bound in the renewable materials. Thus, is stays bound in our customers products, which significantly improves the overall CO2 balance of the entire supply chain – even up to a "negative" carbon footprint in the sense of a CO2 sink. This is our way forward to making our resins become sustainable, climate-positive raw materials.
Quality and prices are just as excellent
as the carbon footprint.
The quality of products such as plywood based on lignin resin binders corresponds at 100% with the quality of plywood using binders based on petrochemicals. This enables our customers to find sustainable solutions, e.g. by using wood-based materials as a substitute for concrete or steel in the construction industry. Other resins like our solutions for mineral wool or foam are currently being reworked for a reduced carbon footprint in numerous partnerships with customers as well.
All of this comes at a manageable cost. Elmar Boeke, CEO of Prefere Resins, is convinced: “The use of sustainable materials will be an essential criterion for product success along the entire value chain up to the end application. We bring the components of our resins together in industrial production so that the end product of our customers is produced sustainably."
Join us on the “Mission Zero 2050”
By 2030 we want to reduce the CO2 footprint of our phenolic resins by 40%. By 2050 we want to achieve our major goal and become net CO2-neutral. Our mission is to make products more sustainable and with the lowest possible carbon footprint. We will achieve this through active change:
- We convert our product syntheses to renewable raw materials.
- We cooperate with partners who provide us with raw materials with the best possible CO2 footprint.
- We rely on the supply of "green electricity" or biogas.
- We continuously increase in-house efficiency and process improvements.
Change is best achieved together. That is why we invite you to become a partner of our “Mission Zero 2050”. In our development laboratories, we research and develop innovative resins and formulations for your company. We started the market launch of lignin-based resins in the phenolic resins segment in 2017 and will extend our sustainability strategy to the entire company in 2022. Together with you, we will develop further applications with a lower carbon footprint in the coming years.