Finnish LignEasy moves in to LignoCity
Juho-Matti Karpale, CEO of LignEasy in the foreground together with RISE’s Stefan Andersson in black and Eric Enqvist, board member of LignEasy are all looking forward to working together.

Finnish LignEasy moves in to LignoCity

Publicerat 1 February, 2024

At the beginning of February this year, the Finnish-based company LignEasy moved into LignoCity’s premises in Bäckhammar. The investment is part of LignEasy’s preparations for the company’s exciting development phase.

LignEasy is a start-up company that develops a patented technology for the separation of lignin in kraft pulp mills. This is new method for separating lignin from pulp mill waste streams. Unlike current separation methods, LignEasy’s process does not disrupt mill operations and chemical balances, nor does it require any mill modifications.

The raw material is liquid lignin

– Our innovation will lead to a significant increase in the availability of lignin on the market, a reduction in CO2 emissions and a more extensive replacement of fossil-based raw materials with a still relatively untouched natural resource. Lignin is currently burned for energy purposes in pulp mill recovery boilers, even though it could be used for valuable bioproducts, with a staggering 15 million tonnes of lignin currently being used very inefficiently across Europe, says Juho-Matti Karpale CEO of LignEasy and continues:
– Our raw material is a liquid lignin formulation that has advantages over the pulverized lignin that can be extracted today. It is used in multiple applications and allows for more direct replacement of fossil-based chemicals. Our product also does not have the characteristic aroma that the lignin powder has.
LignEasy was created in 2022 as a spin-off of the company SciTech-Service Oy, which works with technology development in the field of biomass. In 2023, LignEasy received funding through the EIC Accelerator, an EU programme that supports small and medium-sized enterprises that have the potential to create new markets. The move to LignoCity in Bäckhammar starts up the work on the scale-up phase and the goal is to have a fully functional pilot plant later this year.
– In the immediate future we will focus on demonstrating the new technology and proving that it works in an industrially relevant environment by producing lignin for the customers who come to us for ton-scale testing. The long-term, future goal is to build the first full-scale industrial plant, says Juho-Matti Karpale.

Attracted for various reasons

He says that LignEasy was attracted to Bäckhammar for various reasons. Working in a “hub environment” with like-minded companies, where researchers can benefit from mutual access to state-of-the-art equipment was obviously an important reason.
– We are confident that this type of environment and network will stimulate our business growth. It has been shown that environments like LignoCity are crucial to the speed of technological development within the company. We are extremely happy that our three-person team will have the opportunity to work in LignoCity’s facilities, share our innovative technology with others and develop close collaborations with other research groups, says Juho-Matti Karpale.