Key patent for the bali process

The European Patent Office has granted Borregaard a patent for the key production process behind the company’s BALI project.

The patent describes the conversion of wood, agricultural waste and other biomasses to advanced biofuels and/or biochemicals, and to water soluble lignin suitable as a raw material for Borregaard’s Performance Chemicals business. The patent, referred to as “Lignocellulosic Biomass Conversion by Sulphite Pretreatment”, was applied for in December 2009. Similar patent applications, still pending, have been filed in the United States and other countries outside Europe.

“We regard this patent as an important element in the work to protect our technology, and also an acknowledgment of the efforts we have made to develop the BALI concept”, says Gisle Løhre Johansen, Senior Vice President R&D and NBD.

BALI is short for Borregaard Advanced Lignin, a concept currently under development at the company’s Sarpsborg site in Norway, in a continuously operated demonstration plant which was started up in 2012. A decision to invest in a full-scale commercial plant will be made in the second half of 2014 at the earliest.

Borregaard is one of the world's most advanced biorefineries. Today all the components of wood are used in the production of advanced biochemicals that can replace petroleum-based alternatives. Borregaard's specialty cellulose is used in e.g. filters, adhesives and plastics. Lignin, which binds wood fibres together, is the raw material for a range of products used in concrete admixtures, car batteries and animal feed products. Bioethanol is produced from the sugar in wood and is used in biofuels. Borregaard is the world’s only producer of the vanilla flavour vanillin from wood.