EUCALIVA is a research project based on extracting high-purity soluble lignin from chemical wood pulping processes (black liquors from Kraft pulping).
The use of waste components from industrial activities as raw materials to obtain high value-added products is worth being investigated as a sustainable process. Lignin from pulping process is present all over Europe and represents a big source of underexploited material.
There is an estimated 70 million tonnes of lignin available from pulping processes worldwide, but much of this is not isolated but burned onsite to provide steam for heat and power production. Until now only about 2% of the lignins available in the pulp and paper industry is commercially used. EUCALIVA aims to create a valorisation chain of the lignin fraction, using Eucalyptus globulus waste as a source.
EUCALIVA, will be focusing on the three fundamental aspects in the preparation of high quality carbon-based materials, taking as source Kraft Lignin from black liquor (paper industries waste):
- The optimization of lignin separation, preparation (e.g,.blends with other polymers such as polyurethanes, or by the introduction into the spinning solution of metals or other precursors) and spinning for lignin-based fibres manufacture.
- The development of efficient and faster thermostabilization routes.
- The achievement of carbon fibres and other carbon-based materials with new or enhanced properties.