Researchers collaborate with AST to develop lignin-based products

By American Science and Technology | December 08, 2016

American Science and Technology, a sustainable technology company, has teamed up with Terma Group, a team of Waste and Environmental Technology researchers at the University of Malaga in Spain, to continue efforts on the development of new lignin-based products.

Led by professors Tomás Cordero Alcántara and José Rodríguez Mirasol, Terma Group has been working exclusively on lignocellulosic biomass materials to obtain value added materials. The promising findings from their initial efforts led to the partnership with American Science and Technology, which will supply Terma Group with multiple shipments of Organosolv lignin to further advance their product development activities.

Terma Group will use AST’s Organosolv lignin to prepare porous carbon materials in different structures or conformations (powder, nanofibers, monoliths) to use them as adsorbents or as catalysts in different applications (polluted stream treatment, reactions within the framework of a biorefinery, biofuels, electrodes for supercapacitor devices, etc.)

“Although Organosolv lignin is nothing new, it was only after the recent scale up of AST’s biorefinery pilot plant (located in Wausau, Wisconsin) that this material became available in mass quantities for various research and product development efforts,” said Ali Manesh, president of AST. “And as one of the only companies that can produce pure lignin from the Organosolv process in large quantities, we feel it is our obligation to provide this product to the research communities and give them the opportunity to play a key role in the worldwide effort to valorize this second most abundant natural polymer.”

Currently, AST’s Organosolv lignin is being used by several research teams at various universities, including University of Washington, Mississippi State University, University of Wisconsin, University of Minnesota, and Washington State University, for various research projects. The team at University of Wisconsin-Platteville successfully coextruded AST’s Organosolv lignin with other polymers to create new resins that were then used to produce polymeric parts via injection molding.