Stora Enso Oyj: 100% fossil-free structural panels and construction elements with NeoLigno® by Stora Enso

Together with RISE, IsoTimber and Moelven, Stora Enso has been working on NeoLigno’s latest development – 100% fossil-free structural panels and building elements.

Stora Enso has launched NeoLigno®, a revolutionary lignin-based binder for particle board and insulation applications. We are committed to doing good for people and the planet, which is why we are always looking to innovate new renewable alternatives where fossil materials are used today. In this case, we asked ourselves: What if we could offer a biobased binder that retains all the technical qualities of traditional binders while being safe and renewable?

Stora Enso NeoLigno®

Our answer to this question is NeoLigno® from Stora Enso. NeoLigno® is a biobased binder based on lignin, an organic polymer derived from wood. It is primarily suitable for particle board and insulation applications. Using a bio-based binder makes the end product both safer to manufacture and safer to use, without having to compromise on technical performance.

We ensure that the wood used to produce NeoLigno® comes from sustainably managed and traceable forests with FSC® and PEFCTM chain of custody and ISO 14001 environmental management certifications.

Joint operations opening the doors of tomorrow

The most recent development with NeoLigno® has been in a project called 100% Fossil Free Structural Panels and Building Elements, a collaboration between Stora Enso, IsoTimber and Moelven. The project is part of the strategic innovation program BioInnovation, itself funded by Vinnova, the Swedish Energy Agency and Formas. It is coordinated by RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden) with the aim of developing 100% bio-based and circular components that can help the construction industry improve its sustainability performance.

The construction industry generates a significant collective carbon footprint. Moelven and IsoTimber are taking steps to reduce their impact on the environment by switching to a more sustainable alternative material, wood. This natural material is central to each partner’s work, making the joint project a logical collaboration as they work together to move the industry forward.

Emissions from the construction industry come largely from fossil-based building materials such as concrete and steel. Alternative wood-based materials present an improvement in this direction. But the chemicals used to treat wood, such as binders, are traditionally of fossil or crude oil origin.

The goal of the 100% Fossil-Free Structural Panels and Building Elements project is to develop fully bio-based and circular methods for the production of building blocks and building elements, in order to reduce the carbon footprint without having to compromise on the quality of the final product. efficiency. Moelven produces plywood panels while IsoTimber manufactures partially plywood building blocks. Stora Enso supplies NeoLigno®, which acts as a bio-based binder for plywood and building blocks produced by Moelven and IsoTimber respectively.

Operational success validating NeoLigno®

The project is still ongoing, but the current status is that building plywood and building blocks have been successfully produced, using NeoLigno®, on an industrial scale. This is followed by a thorough test of the properties of both products. Laboratory tests have already established that NeoLigno® is able to match or exceed the performance of traditional binders used in plywood and building blocks. The operational success of the project validates the commercial potential of products using NeoLigno® as a binder.

Madeleine SterleyRISE wood bonding expert confirms that Stora Enso has developed a high quality binder, promising for plywood applications: “Plywood produced in the laboratory and on a pilot scale shows promising properties and indicates that plywood produced with NeoLigno® can meet the requirements of construction plywood.”

Tjalling CauldronProduct Developer at Moelven, is extremely satisfied with the development: “We intentionally set high standards for the binder, hoping to use a fossil-free alternative in the future. It was a joy to see how well the workbook performed at the prototype level, and we look forward to full-scale testing in the fall with great excitement. For us at Moelven it is important to make the most of opportunities and strive to develop and make things better and more climate friendly..”

Janina OstlingPhD, Chairman of the Board/Head of Sustainability at IsoTimber, goes on to say: “This project and this collaboration have been of great value to us. This could help IsoTimber achieve our goal of a 100% bio-based IsoTimber panel several years ahead of schedule. Finding a biosourced binder is a key issue for us. Our most common IsoTimber panel is 99% wood, and NeoLigno® could help us achieve 100% fossil-free building panels. These load-bearing and insulating panels are assembled to full-size exterior wall elements in our factory with metal fasteners. Thus, the load-bearing structure of an IsoTimber building would be 99.8% biobased if we were to implement NeoLigno® in our prefab. It would be fantastic!

In this cooperation with IsoTimber and Moelven, we have developed panels and construction elements without fossil energy, with market potential. We are very satisfied with the results so far, because Sara FaldtR&D specialist at Stora Enso, says: “I am happy and proud to see that the project has met the high expectations we had set at the start; that it is possible to produce construction plywood and construction panels with our bio-based NeoLigno binder.”

Using NeoLigno® as a binder is better for the planet, for you and your customers. We’ll help you prove these benefits to your customers and help you introduce them into your application. Tree-powered innovation is Stora Enso’s raison d’être. We help the world transition to more sustainable and circular solutions that use renewable biomaterials in all kinds of industries and applications. Join us on the journey to build a more sustainable, healthier and safer future!

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