Getting more out of each tree – How LineoTM by Stora Enso helps the EU reach its circular bioeconomy goals

Project Description:

Lignin is a complex organic polymer that makes up as much as one third of every tree, but traditionally its qualities, other than heating value, have been overlooked by the pulp industry.
Stora Enso recognises the potential of versatile lignin, which we have been commercialising since 2013. It’s a renewable alternative for a range of applications, e.g. as a replacement for oil-based phenolic materials, used in resins for plywood, paper lamination, insulation material, carbon fibres and energy storage. Compared with phenol and formaldehyde, lignin is a stable, safer alternative with a lower carbon footprint. Easy to handle, lignin also has stable pricing due to backward integration, making it an ideal bio-based, non-toxic alternative.
As it is a new project, it will take time to test lignin throughout the value chain, but Stora Enso hopes brand owners will become increasingly aware of its potential. Stora Enso launched LineoTM
in March 2018 with a dedicated media campaign, and the company promotes the product through a range of communication channels. Stora Enso participates in high-level industry events to inform peers and potential customers of its benefits.

Lignin as a phenol replacement is already commercialised, and Stora Enso is researching how to use it for other applications to provide the market with an innovative wood-based product to replace fossil-based materials.
The LineoTM’s launch has been positively received by our stakeholders, and we have a range of companies interested in using it as a bio-based alternative. LineoTM helps the EU reach the targets set by the European Circular Bioeconomy Strategy and adds to the mix of new bio-based products helping the European economy decarbonise.

Lignin production began in 2015 at Stora Enso’s Sunila Mill, which has a production capacity of 50,000 tonnes per year. Stora Enso invested €32 million in lignin separation technology for Sunila, and in principle other pulp mills could be suitable for similar projects.


David Almqvist

Product Manager Lignin, Stora Enso

The LineoTM concept is exceptional as we have invested in the world’s largest lignin extraction plant.
We have proven that LineoTM can be used to replace fossil-based materials in several different end applications. Lignin is the second most abundant biopolymer in nature; it exists in all plants. Forests are growing all the time so our sustainable forestry operations increase the availability of raw material every year. The potential of lignin is significant and sustainable.

LineoTM can be used to decarbonise several fossil-based raw materials, and the carbon footprint of LineoTM is up to 80% lower than that of phenol. There are many more
opportunities for LineoTM and with all of them we will significantly decarbonise the end market.


Main features:

CO2 Emissions saved (tCO2)

The carbon footprint of LineoTM is up to 80% lower than that of phenol


€32 million in lignin separation technology for Stora Enso’s Sunila Mill