27 December 2022
Oil plays a major role in the modern society. It is estimated that the world consumes more than 88 million barrels of oil per day. Fuel is probably its most well-known use, but many everyday products or chemical used in industrial production are based on petroleum products that are co-produced from crude oil – in addition to gasoline or jet fuel, from one barrel of crude oil 540 toothbrushes or 23 hula-hoops can be produced. Sustainably sourced renewable materials that can replace carbon-intensive fossil-based resources offer a crucial opportunity to help reach Europe’s climate ambitions of climate neutrality by 2050. Valorization of lignin gives an alternative to petrochemical-based phenolic materials. In EnXylaScope, lignin-based phenolics are utilized in the xylan-based products aimed for three market sectors: cosmetics, personal care, nutraceuticals.
MetGen has developed a breakthrough lignin valorization technology, METNIN™, which allows to produce lignin-based products from crude lignin for high value applications replacing oil-based alternatives, in an economically sound way, with extremely high purity, and in an industrial scale. In EnXylaScope, phenolic compounds are grafted to xylan. Grafting of phenolic groups on to xylan will be targeted for mono-substitution and di-substitution on water insoluble xylan and substitution on xylan and side chains on unmodified xylan. The phenolic groups tested for this will be ferulic acid, coumaric acid, caffeic acid and gallic acid. Additional source for phenolic compounds will be METNIN™ phenolics offered by MetGen
Key features of METNIN™
METNIN™ technology increases efficiency in biorefining processes by reducing waste and increasing the value of side streams while increasing the productivity of the legacy core operations. In fact, the ability to valorize also lignin is a critical technology to make cellulosic ethanol production economically viable (without subsidies).