Commercial lignin plant commissioned

Valmet-supplied LignoBoost plant now handed over to Stora Enso’s Sunila mill in Finland

Stora Enso’s Sunila mill is now running the Valmet-supplied LignoBoost lignin separation plant. As the last part of the handover process, the lignin dryer, was taken over by the Stora Enso team. The LignoBoost plant is integrated with the pulp mill to separate and collect lignin from the black liquor. This is a significant step in transforming the Sunila mill towards an innovative and customer focused biorefinery. The plant has been running since January 2015 and production has been ramped up during the year. The first commercial sized LignoBoost plant was opened by Domtar in USA 2014. The process is originally developed by Swedish Chalmers University together with the research company Inventia.

“Through the lignin extraction process we have replaced a great amount of natural gas with the dried lignin produced in the new LignoBoost plant, and by doing that reduced our carbon dioxide emissions. We are developing this new product and working together with our customers to start external sales,” says Sakari Eloranta, Senior Vice President, Operations and Investment Projects, Stora Enso Biomaterials.

“This is the second commercial scale LignoBoost plant in the world. We continue to develop this technology, as we see a great potential in utilizing lignin in various uses. Lignin powder can be used as raw material at the mill for firing or it can be converted into other materials and products. Lignin separation will at the same time improve the environmental performance of the mill,” says Anders Larsson, Director, Bio materials, Pulp and Energy business line, Valmet

LignoBoost lignin separation technology

LignoBoost is one of Valmet’s biotechnology solutions that responds to the growing interest for utilizing bio-based raw materials. LignoBoost is Valmet’s patented method of extracting lignin from Kraft Pulp process’ spent cocking chemicals, the black liquor. By treating the black liquor with carbon-dioxide and a strong acid the lignin is precipitated, which is then washed and dried. Lignin is an organic polymer and has a heating value similar to carbon. Lignin is besides cellulose and hemi cellulose the most common material in wood.

In addition to LignoBoost, Valmet has several bio initiatives including products such as bio coal, solutions for second generation ethanol, pyrolysis oil as well as direct and indirect gasification of biomaterials.

About Stora Enso Biomaterials

Stora Enso Biomaterials offers a variety of pulp grades to meet the demands of paper, board and tissue producers. The mission is to develop higher value added bio-based products that contribute positively to our customers by helping them reduce their environmental footprint. The Sunila mill has an annual capacity of 370,000 ton of softwood pulp. The mill employs approximately 160 people.

About Valmet

Valmet is the leading global developer and supplier of technologies, automation and services for the pulp, paper and energy industries. Valmet’s services cover everything from maintenance outsourcing to mill and plant improvements and spare parts. The strong technology offering includes pulp mills, tissue, board and paper production lines, as well as power plants for bio-energy production. Valmet’s advanced automation solutions range from single measurements to mill wide turnkey automation projects. Valmet’s head office is in Espoo, Finland and its shares are listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd.

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