Task 4.4. – Implementation of lignin as alternative to phenol in PF-resins for the manufacture of thermal insulation foams

Principle of the process

Both monomers, phenol and formaldehyde, are prepolymerised to a liquid PF resin. In a second step, this PF resin is blended with several additives prior to a full cure to a solid polymer while inducing a physical expansion of the polymer to a foam with closed cells assuring a low thermal conductivity.

Application PF foams Kingspan


kooltherm boardkooltherm pipe


Target of the Task 4.4.

Replace (part of) the fossil sourced phenol monomer by a biobased alternative, a lignin polyphenol, to reduce the CO2 footprint of the final products.

Achievements of the first half of the project

Promising simulation of the entire process on lab scale from a mix of phenol, formaldehyde and organosolv lignin to an LPF-foam meeting the key properties for the final application as thermal insulation. Further work on improving the resin synthesis and modifying the composition foam recipe on lab scale is required before scaling up to pilot or industrial environment.

Patrick De Schryver

R&D Manager Kingspan Insulation NV

Read about the Development of organisolv lignin valorization methods