Flambeau River Papers is one of a handful of lignin producers in North America. We produce more than 50,000 gallons of lignin each day, 365 days a year. lignosulfonate products are sold in liquid form and shipped via insulated rail tank cars to customers throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Lignin a versatile, non-toxic by-product generated in the pulping process. Lignin is found in all cellulosic plants and is the adhesive that holds their fibers together. Lignin is the second most prominent component of the wood part of the tree, with cellulose being the principal component. Other major components are hemicelluloses and solvent-soluble substances known as extractives. Lignin comprises 20 to 35% of the wood substance and consists of the total non-carbohydrate fraction of the extractive-free wood. Lignin is what gives trees the ability to stand and reach for sunlight.
Flambeau River Papers lignin products (also known as lingosulfonates) are derived from white birch and maple hardwood trees harvested from forests in Wisconsin and Minnesota. As shown in the flowchart below, the lignin production process starts in the pulping stage. The first step is separating the cellulose fibers in wood chips from the adhesive that holds them together in trees. This is done by adding a cooking acid made from calcium and sulfur to the wood chips to dissolve the bonds between the cells in large pressure vessels called digesters. The wood fiber is then separated from the liquid lignosulfonate and processed to make paper.
Find out more about the process by clicking the lignin production icon above!