Lignin-based sustainable packaging solutions

Kristiina Poppius-Levlin, Eva-Lena Hult, Jarmo Ropponen, Catharina Hohenthal, Tarja Tamminen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsProfessional

3 Citations (Scopus)


Oil-based barrier coatings were replaced by lignin-based coatings, and packaging materials made of recycled fibers were reinforced by lignin addition. A solvent fractionation method was developed to produce pure and homogeneous lignin fractions with increased thermoplasticity compared to the starting material. Another way to successfully increase lignin's thermoplasticity was chemical modifications by esterification reactions. Lignins esterified with fatty acids formed films without any external plasticizers. Lignin fatty acid esters coatings on paper board reduced significantly water vapour and oxygen transmission rates. Barrier properties against water vapour were as good as, or even better, than those of commercial PLA (poly lactic acid). Unmodified softwood and hardwood kraft lignins precipitated on recycled fibers increased strength, bonding and water resistance of packaging materials, e.g. corrugated boards. Accordingly, at least 20% of fibers can be replaced by lignins. The carbon footprint results for two new lignin-based products indicated reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by including lignin either in the furnish to compensate fibres and gain lighter weight or as barrier material to replace oil-based barrier coatings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNWBC 2012
Subtitle of host publicationThe 4th Nordic Wood Biorefinery Conference
EditorsKlaus Niemelä
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7881-8
ISBN (Print)978-951-38-7880-1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeD3 Professional conference proceedings
Event4th Nordic Wood Biorefinery Conference, NWBC 2012 - Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 23 Oct 201225 Oct 2012 (Full proceedings)

Publication series

SeriesVTT Technology


Conference4th Nordic Wood Biorefinery Conference, NWBC 2012
Abbreviated titleNWBC 2012
Internet address

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  • Research Output

    • 3 Citations
    • 1 Report

    NWBC 2012: The 4th Nordic Wood Biorefinery Conference

    Niemelä, K. (ed.), 2012, Espoo: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. 436 p. (VTT Technology; No. 53).

    Research output: Book/ReportReport

    Open Access
  • Cite this

    Poppius-Levlin, K., Hult, E-L., Ropponen, J., Hohenthal, C., & Tamminen, T. (2012). Lignin-based sustainable packaging solutions. In K. Niemelä (Ed.), NWBC 2012: The 4th Nordic Wood Biorefinery Conference (pp. 174-179). VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. VTT Technology, No. 53