Production of Lignin-Based Thermoplastics

Coperion supports RenCom in production of durable biomaterial

  • July 24, 2020
  • Production of Lignin-Based Thermoplastics
    Production of Lignin-Based Thermoplastics
  • From wood to biodegradable thermoplastic biomaterial RENOL (c) all Pictures: Coperion
    From wood to biodegradable thermoplastic biomaterial RENOL (c) all Pictures: Coperion

Swedish innovation company RenCom AB has chosen Coperion’s state-of-the art twin screw extrusion system to enable the production of RENOL®, an innovative thermoplastic biomaterial that can be used to replace fossil-based plastics. Following comprehensive studies in Coperion’s extrusion test lab in Stuttgart, Germany, RenCom and Coperion were able to further develop the processing of this lignin-based material and transform it into durable, reusable biomaterial by using the ZSK twin screw extruder technology. RenCom will be able to produce up to 1,000 tons RENOL per year starting late 2020

Extrusion technology for future-oriented biomaterial

RenCom has a patented material and process that energy-efficiently transforms lignin into renewable, degradable biomaterial that can replace fossil plastics, marketed under the name RENOL. Passing different process steps, including extrusion and compounding, RENOL becomes a durable, reusable biomaterial that can be used for all kinds of plastic products, such as bags and glues. It can be used directly in existing production infrastructure without any modifications to machines or methods. 

Coperion has in cooperation with RenCom designed a complete extrusion system comprising a ZSK co-rotating twin screw extruder, gravimetric feeders, a strand pelletizing system, a lignin bag dump station and a big bag station to RenCom. The ZSK Mv PLUS series unites an optimally balanced large free screw volume with high screw speeds and a high specific torque. Thanks to the deeply cut screw flights thermal stress on the raw material is very low and product processing is very gentle. By using the side feeder ZS-B, fillers and additives can be added to the process section according to the requirements of the end product. The complete system will be delivered in October. High quality RENOL pellets will be produced in the scale of 1,000 tons per year.

The comprehensive studies in Coperion’s test lab and the realization of the demo system for the production of RENOL is seen as the beginning of a successful partnership between RenCom and Coperion.