sustainability, circularity, furniture, natural resources, local materials


Esther Kaya Stögerer, Jannis Kempkens
Bachelor Graduation Project within the framework of Greenlab

Supervision: Prof. Dr. Zane Berzina, Prof. Susanne Schwarz-Raacke, Luise Dettbarn

Cooperation partner: Fraunhofer-Institut für Holzforschung, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut, WKI


Black liquor is a material that is largely underestimated. In Germany 98 % (= 50 million tons per year) are incinerated. The by-product of the paper industry contains a promising biopolymer: lignin. As the second most common polymer on earth, it could play an important role in the development away from petroleum-based substances and towards biobased substances. In BLACK LIQUOR, we have joined forces with the Fraunhofer WKI wood research institute to develop new approaches as to how the polymer can be used more widely in the future. The materials developed are harmless in production and use and are based on renewable raw materials and industrial by-products. They thus help to transfer previous waste streams into new material cycles and prevent CO2 emissions. This has resulted in a range of material properties and application possibilities: From solid board materials for furniture construction to flexible leather alternatives for the fashion industry.

Black Liquor addresses four target groups: end users, product manufacturers, materials researchers and designers. The development of a material library gives interested researchers and designers access to our experiments and results. It consists of an extensive archive and a catalogue. In this way we want to give the possibility to use our results for future material developments based on lignin and to build on our research.