Moving Toward Carbon-Negative Automobiles: Incorporating Lignin in Automotive Parts on Commercial Scale

Consortium Members: Woodbridge Foam Corporation, Michigan State University (Prof. Mojgan Nejad), West Fraser, Fortum Bio2X, Sweetwater Energy Inc, and Ford Motor Company.

CRIBE Funding: $500,000

Project Total Value: $1,000,000

Project Goal

This project aims to increase the commercial readiness of lignin-containing polymers by scaling up the production of lignin-based polyurethane (PU) flexible foams to move toward carbon-negative cars.

The consortium will achieve this by the end of May 2023:

  • Formulating liquid lignin-polyol (MSU) using technical lignins produced by Fortum Bio2X (organosolv wheat straw), Sweetwater (hydrolysis hardwood), and West Fraser (kraft softwood)
  • Using formulated liquid lignin-polyol to partially replace petroleum-based polyol in the formulation of PU flexible foam (Woodbridge)
  • Scale up the production of lignin-containing PU flexible foams (Woodbridge) and test them in the manufacturing line of Ford
  • Communicating the outcomes of this project via conferences, technical reports, journal papers, industry meetings, and social media