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Improving plastic recycling with lignin

The natural substance lignin, which gives strength to trees and plants, is a by-product of pulp production, This project, called ZeoLignin, studies the use of lignin to produce zeolites, which play a critical role in improving plastic recycling processes.

In recent years, Sweden has made significant progress in plastics recycling, but there are still challenges and potential for improvement. One challenge is to make the recycling process more cost-effective while replacing fossil resources with renewable biological resources to create a sustainable and circular economy.

ZeoLignin - focus on zeolites

Zeolites are a group of minerals, which, among other things, are very effective as catalysts in plastics recycling to improve the efficiency of the process. In particular, zeolites are used in so-called catalytic pyrolysis, an advanced technology that can sustainably convert organic material, including plastics and biomass, into valuable products through thermochemical degradation. In the process, plastic waste is heated in an oxygen-free environment using a catalyst. This breaks down the plastic into smaller molecules that can be converted into new raw materials. These raw materials can in turn be used to make new plastic products.

The potential of lignin

Using bio-based material to produce zeolites is a promising and sustainable approach that offers several benefits, such as reduced environmental impact and cost savings. This project, coordinated by RISE, aims to use lignin as a renewable by-product to produce zeolites in a cost-effective way. The expectation is that the project will lead to the production of zeolites using lignin, in a sustainable and cost-effective way, which in turn will be used for chemical recycling of plastic waste through catalytic pyrolysis.


Project name

ZeoLignin - improving plastic recycling



RISE role in project


Project start


2 years

Total budget

2 995 696 SEK

Project members

Ewellyn Capanema

Contact person

Ewellyn Capanema

Principal Scientist

+46 10 228 45 96

Read more about Ewellyn

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