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Lignin a rising star in bio-chemicals, says Pyry

On the subject of biochemicals, experts at Pöyry Management Consulting believe that the European market will invest effort in supplying lignin. In a new report called Biosight up to 2025, the firm makes this assessment on the basis that...


April 22, 2015
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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On the subject of biochemicals, experts at Pöyry Management Consulting believe that the European market will invest effort in supplying lignin. In a new report called Biosight up to 2025, the firm makes this assessment on the basis that lignin is currently underutilized but is a market enabler for lignocellulose sugars and therefore has potential for significant growth.

The BioSight report by Pöyry investigates supply and demand across geographical hubs in the global bio-based chemical business. The report confirms that the bio-based chemicals sector is a growing, global market, but also lifts out both brand pull and the lignin platform as rising stars. 

In the report Pöyry introduces its concept for structuring the bio-chemicals sector. Chemicals are divided into sugar, oil, lignin and gas platforms according to their feedstock. These platforms form the basis of the broad spectrum of end-uses including automotive, electronics and packaging.

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Pöyry has forecast business opportunities over the coming years for each of the four platforms. First, Poyry’s experts found that whilst the oil and fat platform is the most mature one, sensibilities around sustainability arguments mean future supply is uncertain. In the coming years, Pöyry believes that the European market will invest effort in supplying lignin. The report notes that lignin is a market enabler for lignocellulose sugars and has potential for significant growth.

Changes to supply and demand will affect the various geographical hubs that dominate the biochemicals industry. Asia leads global production and is expanding thanks to significant government support. Globally, North America, Europe and Brazil all compete with specific competitive advantages.

The report raises the question of whether in the next 10 years, Europe can continue to rely on a technological advantage, given production growth elsewhere, says Katja Salmenkivi, head of biochemicals at Pöyry Management Consulting.

Pöyry is an international consulting and engineering company. Visit the Biosight page at www.poyry.com/biosight.