Filter Press for Lignin Production 

The Chempolis Ltd. Oulu Pilot is now fully equipped for the production of lignin on an unprecedented scale for various applications.

With the support of our Roxia Smart Filter Press (fully automated filter press), Chempolis is now able to supply significant quantities of lignin from a range of sustainable sources.

About the customer

Chempolis Biorefining Park, located in Oulu, Finland, is a leading provider of innovative biorefining technologies for energy, biofuel, oil, paper and chemical industries and companies. The refinery functions as Chempolis’ main hub of innovation where also full-scale testing services for clients and partners are offered. 

Chempolis’ formico® technologies facilitate the sustainable production of bioethanol, dissolving pulp, cellulosic sugars, biochemicals, and sulfur-free lignin from various lignocellulosic raw materials. These processes are adaptable to utilize hardwood and softwood. Also non-wood and non-food biomasses like straw, bagasse, corn stover, EFB, and bamboo can be utized.

Chempolis Roxia
Chempolis’ headquarters is located in Oulu, Finland, 200 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle.

Introduction to Lignin

Lignin itself is a complex organic polymer derived from plant cell walls. Dealing with lignin and its washing and dewatering can be quite complex. However, Chempolis has developed a unique process that recognizes the value of both – the solid and liquid fractions. To achieve this, they conducted thorough research and performed numerous filtration tests in cooperation with Roxia. The primary objective was to establish an automatic filtration process that included cake washing. Additionally, separating different filtrate flows for subsequent processes was a vital component of their solution.

The collaboration was initiated in September 2020 and continued through multiple filtration campaigns, test unit rentals, and process development meetings, leading to the installation of a Roxia test filter at Chempolis’ Oulu site in 2022.

Automatic filtration with the help of the Roxia Smart Filter Press containing 10 chambers and a filter volume of 86 litres

Installation and Results

Roxia’s adaptable approach made it possible to incorporate frequent modifications in the feed material throughout the process development. Thanks to the close collaboration and shared goals, Roxia was able to overcome the obstacles and find the perfect solution for Chempolis’ filtration needs – The Roxia SFP (Smart Filter Press). The need for automatic operation, effective cake wash, compliance with European safety regulations, and an innovative design perfectly aligned with Chempolis’ requirements. Roxia’s commitment to safety, European manufacturing, and a clean, compact design made it the obvious choice.

After successfully implementing the new Roxia system containing a fully automated filter press (Roxia SFP) with 10 chambers and a filter volume of 86 litres, the Chempolis Oulu Pilot is now able to produce lignin on a larger scale for various applications. This improvement allows Chempolis to offer significant amounts of lignin derived from sustainable sources.

Lignin Production
Ready-produced Lignin derived from sustainable sources with the help of filter presses.

Long-term Cooperation between Chempolis and Roxia

With the successful management of the complexities involved in lignin processing, Chempolis confirms its plans to include Roxia products also in future. Despite the challenges faced, this journey has provided both parties with valuable knowledge, and a partnership that continues to grow. Chempolis envisions Roxia’s continued assistance in optimizing their processes, supplying necessary spare parts, and offering tailor-made filter cloths to enhance filtration performance.

“The collaboration with Roxia’s experts, their extensive knowledge, and seamless teamwork have played a crucial role in overcoming obstacles and attaining remarkable achievements in our lignin processing endeavours” states Keijo Hytönen, General Manager at Chempolis site in Oulu.

In conclusion, Chempolis’ journey with Roxia exemplifies the power of collaboration in solving complex challenges in biorefining processes, paving the way for sustainable solutions in lignin filtration and production.

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