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Global Lignin-based Products Market: Overview

Lignin is the principal byproduct from lignocellulosic bio-refineries and a valuable renewable resource for the chemical industry. Annually, 50–60 million tons of lignin is extracted from wood as a byproduct of the pulping industry. Lignin, a component of plants, has great potential in terms of conversion into value-added products that can significantly improve the economics of a bio-refinery. It is a non-toxic and renewable raw material accounting for approximately 30% of the weight and ~40% of the energy content of lignocellulosic biomass. Due to complex nature of lignin, this highly abundant biomass product is undervalued and it is primarily used as a boiler fuel in the paper & pulp industry. The increasing fuel prices with changing fuel specifications are likely to boost the use of bio-based material, thereby driving the lignin-based products market during the forecast period.

Global Lignin-based Products Market: Trends

Lignin-based products can by produced naturally and from industrial sources. Lignin is present in the tissue of vascular plants, where it adds to the mechanical strength and structural integrity of the cell wall. Its complex chemical structure allows its use in a wide range of applications. Major sources of lignin are cooking liquors generated in the wood pulping process. From industrial sources, lignin can be produced by using two technologies i.e. the kraft pulping process and the soda process. Kraft pulping process is the dominating process and is projected to expand significantly during the forecast period.

Global Lignin-based Products Market: Key Segments

Based on type, the lignin-based products market can be divided into cellulose enzyme lignin, milled wood lignin, chemical lignin, klason lignin, pyrolytic lignin, and others. Lignin is sustainable, and low-cost raw material. It is also an ideal substitute for oil-based products. Thus, these factors are estimated to drive the lignin-based products market during the forecast period.

Based on derivative type, the lignin-based products market can be segmented into activated carbons, binders, carbon fibers, phenolics, guaiacol, and others. Guaiacol, a naturally occurring organic compound, can be derived from guaiacum or wood creosote. It is used as a precursor to various flavoring agents such as vanillin and roasted coffee. Its derivatives are used as expectorants, antiseptics, local anesthetics, and also, as indicators in chemical reactions that produce oxygen. Over 90% of the carbon fiber produced worldwide is derived from petroleum-derived polyacrylonitrile (PAN). However, compared to PAN, lignin has more than 60% carbon content and it is a renewable material.

Global Lignin-based Products Market: Applications

In terms of application, the lignin-based products market can be divided into food additives, cement, dispersants, binders, batteries, and others. Lignin offers high performance concrete strength and provides excellent weather resistance. These properties drive the lignin-based products market in the cement segment. Lignin is used as a binder for glass wool building insulation. Lignin-based products market is also employed as a chemically modified product that can be used as a dispersing agent, flocculent, thickener, or auxiliary agent for coatings, paints, etc. Furthermore, a lignin?derived material is employed as a dispersant for soils, cleaning and/or laundry detergent compounds, cement mixers, leather tanning, oil drilling muds, and pesticides and insecticides.

Global Lignin-based Products Market: Regional Outlook

In terms of region, the global lignin-based products market can be segregated into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is expected to be a rapidly expanding market for lignin-based products from 2018 to 2026, owing to rise in the demand for these products from the cement industry in the region. The lignin based products accounts for significant market share in North America and is expected to expand significantly in the near future, due to the rising awareness of lignin products from the pulp and paper industry. The market in Europe is anticipated to expand at a significant pace from 2018 to 2026, due to increase in the consumption of lignin-based products in various applications in the region. Latin America and Middle East & Africa also constitute a significant share of the global lignin-based products market.

Global Lignin-based Products Market: Key Players

Prominent players operating in the global lignin-based products market are Alberta-Pacific (Alpac), Innventia, Domtar Corp, and Green Value. 

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Lignin Based Products Market

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