St1 is part of the VIOBOND project consortium which was selected as one of the three flagship projects to obtain BBI-JU (Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking) funding in the frame of HORIZON Europe program for research and innovation. The main target of the project is to build new bio-based resin plant to Latvia, utilizing lignins from different biorefineries to partially replace phenol and formaldehyde in variety of resin products. St1 has committed to take part to the development work and to provide hydrolysis lignin from Kajaani Cellunolix® biorefinery for laboratory, pilot, and demonstration scale testing during the project. St1 will also be actively participating the commercial and sustainability investigations within the project, as well as the project dissemination. Lignin commercialization to higher value application is essential for commercial and sustainable biorefinery production and important part for enabling the future investments for Cellunolix® biorefineries.
Lignin-based resins are one of the several promising commercialization routes which St1 is developing for the Cellunolix® hydrolysis lignin. Lignin enables the partial replacement of toxic and fossil-based components in traditional phenol-formaldehyde resins. St1 sees high potential in lignin resin application since it is one of the high maturity applications for biorefinery lignins and has been investigated by several resin and lignin producers, with some existing market entries. The bilateral research work with Latvijas Finieris has been ongoing for about a year, targeting to examine and improve the potential of hydrolysis lignin grade for different resins products. VIOBOND project will be important continuation for this systematic co-operation towards the lignin-based resin commercialization.
The 5-year project will start September 1st, 2021. VIOBOND project has 9 partners from 5 different EU Member States, covering the different actors over the resin value chain. Total budget is 32 M€ where the share of St1 is about 1 M€.
Besides the resin value chain, St1 is actively working also with other lignin valorisation pathways to better utilize this valuable bioproduct. Lignin in composite application, bitumen replacement in asphalt, advanced fuels and lignin carbon applications are currently among the most promising commercialization routes.
Press release with more details on the project has been published at www.st1.com.