How by-products of the paper industry can be a resource for the chemical industry

In the circular economy, the aim is to reduce the use of resources, re-use products as long as possible, and enable recycling at the end of their lives. One way of conserving resources, is by using the by-product of one industry to supply another.

Ingevity uses two by-products from the kraft paper industry – black liquor and chemical-grade crude tall oil (CTO) – to produce chemicals:

A lignin-based chemical with carbon negative properties

The lignin-based chemical made from black liquor is used mainly as a dispersant in the agriculture industry for a diverse set of crop protection formulations including biological products. The production process – including the energy use, materials, packaging and waste – releases 1.46 Metric Tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. A recent study shows this is 122% lower than fossil carbon-based alternatives when accounting for the biogenic carbon sequestered in the lignin, which results in a credit of -2.2 Metric Tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

What’s more, after application to crops, the lignin’s innate biogenic carbon is expected to remain in the soil for at least a 100-year timeframe, storing the carbon in the soil instead of releasing it to the atmosphere to impact climate change.

An adhesive with sustainable touch

In 2008 Ingevity launched a resin created from chemical-grade tall oil and tall oil rosin – renewable co-products of the paper-making industry – used in packaging, tapes, labels and construction adhesive applications. A recent study shows properties of Ingevity’s adhesive fully offset greenhouse gas emissions released during manufacture, do not contribute to climate change, and generate a carbon footprint 12% lower than petroleum-based alternatives.

Associated SDG targets

UN SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
SDG 12-ResponsibleConsumptionAndProduction
SDG Goal 13 Climate Action
SDG 17-PartnershipsForTheGoals