RenCom AB, Knivsta (Sweden), has now started production of the lignin-based thermoplastic biomaterial Renol. Following extensive tests in the Coperion extrusion technology center in Stuttgart, RenCom and Coperion developed the Renol extrusion process. By using the ZSK twin screw extruder technology, lignin can be converted into a durable, reusable biomaterial.
Coperion has supplied RenCom with a ZSK twin screw extruder, gravimetric dosing devices, a strand pelletizing system, a lignin sack emptying station and a big bag station. The system was recently successfully put into operation and production has already started on schedule. RenCom will in future be able to produce over 1,000 t of Renol per year.
RenCom’s patented technology is based on lignin, a by-product from the wood processing industry, which is converted into a renewable high-performance material and can replace fossil-based plastic. Renol can serve in proportions of up to 50% in applications such as sheeting (shopping bags, mulch film or carrier bags), injection molded parts (furniture and automotive parts) and as a filler for artificial turf soccer fields, replacing non-degradable rubber. The material can be used directly in the existing production infrastructure without any changes to machines or methods. With a low carbon footprint and water consumption, as well as good mechanical and physical properties, Renol can reduce or even replace the use of fossil-based plastics.
In cooperation with RenCom, Coperion has designed a complete extrusion system that includes a co-rotating twin screw extruder ZSK Mv Plus and additional equipment. This series combines a large free screw volume with high screw speeds and a high specific torque. Thanks to the deeply cut screw flights, the thermal load on the raw material is low and the product is processed gently.
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