Pöyry: Heard about lignin? Wood component becoming a super business

A lignin ecosystem is a Finnish, fast-growing export package.

"Lignin is one of the most mystical and exotic wood components, actually making up 30 per cent of the structure of wood. We all come into contact with it whenever we heat the sauna or light a fire in the fireplace," says Petri Vasara, Vice President at Pöyry Management Consulting Oy.

Pöyry Management Consulting Oy is developing a lignin ecosystem, that is, facilitates companies and research institutes that bring lignin-based products into the market as quickly as possible. Lignin can be used as raw material in the production of, for example, chemicals or carbon fibres.

The purpose of the ecosystem is to boost the creation of lignin markets and the success of end-user applications. Members of the ecosystem and the partner networks develop and sell technology, intermediates and products with which lignin can be separated from wood and processed into end products used in cars, aeroplanes and other consumer products.

Lignin ecosystem creates jobs

Finland's advantage is that it is a familiar raw material and there is plenty of it readily available.

"We have the technology and know-how, but we still need specific kind of chemical expertise, among other things. We are seeking more end-users of lignin into the ecosystem. This is because the lignin ecosystem market is export-oriented," says Mr Vasara.

"Our aim is to create value chains on a Finnish platform, combining Finnish and international expertise. This is a win-win situation internationally, but the biggest benefits will naturally be enjoyed by Finland. The entire system will also create jobs."

The lignin ecosystem is funded half and half by Tekes and businesses. The basic plans are ready, according to Vasara. A speedy launch is currently in progress.

Lignin in demand globally

Currently the ecosystem involves, among others, forestry companies, technology developers, fuel and energy companies, aircraft industry representatives and manufacturers of paints, surface materials and coatings. Auto industry giants and consumer giants such as IKEA and Lego are also being targeted.

"The market covers the whole world. We have the first strategic ecosystem built around lignin in Finland, so far the only one of its kind in the world. We are ambitious, but realise that there are plenty of challenges ahead. We have involved world-class companies that believe in the potential of lignin."

Further information

Petri Vasara
Pöyry Management Consulting Oy
petri.vasara (at) poyry.com
Tel. +358 40 500 9553

Sanna Nuutila