Institute of Chemical Engineering
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Product and process development for nano- and micro scaled Lignin from renewable ressources

Many everyday products contain chemical ingredients that provide them with special properties. This includes e.g. UV-blocker in paints and coatings as well as in sunscreens. These chemical ingredients can have negative effects on humans and environment. Some chemical UV-blockers in sunscreens for instance cause coral bleaching, i.e. the bleaching and dying of corals. Moreover, those UV-blockers have an endocrine effect and can thus affect humans and animals. Therefore, more and more of these chemical ingredients in paints/coatings and sunscreens are prohibited by legal regulations. This is why industry is forced to find and utilise sustainable alternatives to those conventional UV-blockers.

Thus, our aim is the replacement of UV-blockers in paints/coatings and sunscreens with a sustainable and environmental friendly alternative. This alternative is Lignin in form of particles in micro- to nanoscale. Lignin is a constituent of lignified biomass that gives mechanical stability and additionaly acts as UV-blocker, antioxidant, radical scavenger and biocide. These natural properties of Lignin are even enhanced if it is transformed into micro- or nanoparticles.

During the Spin-off Fellowship project "Product and process development for nano- and micro scaled Lignin from renewable ressources" the laboratory proven production of nano- and micro scaled Lignin will be developed to market maturity. For this it is necessary to know the requirements for nano- and micro scaled Lignin that must be met for a successful application in an end product as the properties of the particles are strongly dependent on the production process. The development within the project will, therfore, be done in cooperation with two partners from the paint/coating industry as well as the cosmetic industry. Thus, the produced nano- and micro scaled Lignin particles can actually be tested in the end products "water based paint/coating" and "sunscreen" and the industrial applicability can be checked. Beside this technical realization, the economic efficiency and environmental impacts during production and application play an important role for the marketability of nano- and micro scaled Lignin. After the end of the project, a Spin-off company shall be founded based on the developed technology in order to commercialize the nano- and micro scaled Lignin.

left to right: FBM Iris Rauskala, GF Henrietta Egerth, Rektorin Sabine Seidler, Oliver Spadiut, Julian Quehenberger, Martin Miltner, Angela Miltner. Copyright Matthias Heisler

The Spin-off Fellowship program of FFG, which was developed based on the "Pioneers programm" of ETH Zurich, supports students and researchers in turning innovative ideas into marketable products. Thus, the financing granted by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research contributes to the foundation of academic Spin-offs and strengthens Austria as location for education, knowledge and business.


DI Dr. Martin Miltner
Project leader, Fellow
DI Dr. Angela Miltner
DI Dr. Stefan Beisl
DI Johannes Adamcyk, BSc
Prof. DI Dr. Anton Friedl