Feb 22, 2023

Researchers use light to convert abundant lignin into plastic that can be continually recycled

Posted by in categories: chemistry, sustainability

Lignin is arguably the most abundant component of biomass that most people have never heard of. That may be about to change.

Many people are familiar with its biochemical cousin cellulose, a byproduct of paper and wood milling. But the same processes produce 50 million tons of lignin annually, industry experts estimate. Once distilled, 98 percent of the inky liquid is burned to produce electricity.

Scientists have been working to find more efficient and sustainable approaches to transform this naturally occurring polymer for use as a cleaner and greener building block to develop next generation materials.

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