Our vision is to create technology platforms for novel materials and chemicals based on lignin to replace fossil-fuel based chemicals and products.

Our Vision of Lignin-based Materials and Chemicals

The Forest Industry is one the cornerstones of Canada’s economy at $80 billion per year, 3% of GNP. It operates in over 320 communities across the country and provides 900,000 direct and indirect jobs. It is facing unprecedented challenges due to competition from low cost sources of wood and declining North American demand. The Industry is at a crossroads and must change. Production of new, high value products as a complement to its traditional commodity products is a path to a sustainable future.

The Biomaterials and Chemicals Strategic Research Network will provide a suite of technologies to develop value-added products from forest-based lignin. This will benefit traditional pulp mills by diversifying the range of products they can offer and the emerging biofuels sector, by providing value-added products to complement the low-margin high-volume nature of fuel production.

The technologies developed in the Network will additionally benefit the chemical and automobile industries, which are also experiencing radical changes in their fundamental structure. The chemical industry is vigorously seeking biomass-based feedstocks, a significant portion of which could come from lignin. The lignin-based materials developed in the Network will also contribute to the automobile industry’s search for light, strong composite materials to produce the safe, fuel-efficient vehicles of the future.