Commercial perspectives for the FRACTION process

FRACTION project develops a resource-efficient process that is relevant for biorefineries dealing with lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose, with its results targeted at TRL 4-5. This means that there is still work to be done before the FRACTION process is applicable to an industrial context. At this early stage of the process development, we start to identify the commercial perspectives for the FRACTION process.

The core end-users of the FRACTION process are anticipated to biorefineries, thus placing the FRACTION process at the centre stage (red) of a model value chain for biobased products, Figure 1. The process can be used for woody biomasses, corrugated cardboard and other biomasses rich in cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin and, leads to improved yield rates and higher purity of the end-products.

FRACTION value chain

Figure 1: Model value chain for biobased products (IFAU, 2022)

The chemical compounds derived in the FRACTION process as for example furfural or lignin can be used as building blocks for the production of biobased materials, chemicals or substances. Going back to the model value chain, it is evident that there are more steps of the value chain that are of interest when assessing the commercial perspectives of the FRACTION process: the production of biobased building blocks (yellow) and the production of biobased materials and products (green). We will investigate the market development and segmentation, trends, drivers and barriers, and quality requirements by industrial end-users whom could make use of the FRACTION building blocks and biobased materials. To reflect the interests of the FRACTION partnership we will look into three main market segments:

  • Sustainable packaging and ingredients (vanillin) for the food sector;
  • Sustainable materials for construction and green chemicals (biobased adhesives, solvents and coatings);
  • Platform chemicals.

EU-level associations and key informants from the biobased industries are foreseen to contribute through interviews and, we will have case studies within each of the three market segments. The market analysis is expected to be published early after summer.

Karen Hamann (IFAU),

This text is part of FRACTION Newsletter June 2022.