5. Lignin Matrix Composites from Natural Resources – ARBOFORM®

  1. Stephan Kabasci
  1. Helmut Nägele1,
  2. Jürgen Pfitzer1,
  3. Lars Ziegler1,
  4. Emilia Regina Inone-Kauffmann2,
  5. Wilhelm Eckl2 and
  6. Norbert Eisenreich2

Published Online: 4 OCT 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118676646.ch5

Bio-Based Plastics: Materials and Applications

Bio-Based Plastics: Materials and Applications

How to Cite

Nägele, H., Pfitzer, J., Ziegler, L., Inone-Kauffmann, E. R., Eckl, W. and Eisenreich, N. (2013) Lignin Matrix Composites from Natural Resources – ARBOFORM®, in Bio-Based Plastics: Materials and Applications (ed S. Kabasci), John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118676646.ch5

Editor Information

  1. Fraunhofer-Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT, Germany

Author Information

  1. 1

    Tecnaro GmbH, Germany

  2. 2

    Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 OCT 2013
  2. Published Print: 13 NOV 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781119994008

Online ISBN: 9781118676646



  • Arboform®;
  • bioplastics;
  • lignin;
  • lignin-fibre composites;
  • thermoplastic lignin compound


Intensive efforts by research institutions and industry has been unable to generate high added value to a byproduct of the pulp and paper industry, the natural polymer lignin. Chemical pulp mills accumulate approximately more than 50 × 106 tons of it in mass every year, worldwide. A group of researchers and developers, however, developed a family of composites called ARBOFORM®, the polymer lignin being the main component of this new class of engineering materials fully based on renewable raw materials. It is applicable to equipment parts in industry and its properties enable it to be partially substituted for plastics and processed wood. Although it shows woodlike properties, standard polymer engineering technologies can process the material like a thermoplastic material. ARBOFORM can be used for various industrial products, using injection moulding, extrusion and compression moulding. Processing of the material occurs at lower temperatures than is used for synthetic thermoplastics and it does not need compounding, which saves substantial energy and cycle time. The resulting parts show a lower shrinkage than those made from synthetic plastics, reveal excellent acoustic properties and enable straightforward recycling. Continued research and development upgraded the material, giving it advanced properties. As expected from engineering plastics, these comprise high stiffness and impact strength, surface smoothness, various functionalities like flame retardancy, thermal and electrical conductivity, various colours and the absence of processing agents. In particular, advanced bio-inspired materials can be derived by pyrolysis, which maintains shape at smaller dimensions. Selected examples provide an overview of various applications for mass consumer and industrial goods, developed earlier currently under detailed investigation.