Investigations on Injection moulding using lignin-natural-fibre-based compounds

Fraunhofer-Institute for Chemical TechnologyInstitute:

Fraunhofer-Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT)


Joseph-von-Fraunhofer-Str. 7
76327 Pfinztal (Berghausen), Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 721 4640- 427 or -0
Fax: +49 (0) 721 4640-111

Project leader:

Dipl.-Ing. Emilia R. Inone-Kauffmann (emilia.regina.inone(at)


The Fraunhofer-Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT) is an institute of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the largest organisation for applied research in Europe. Within about 430 employees ICT facilities and expertise focuses on the conception, design and development of products and components, on process technology, research for materials and components, on process monitoring, testing and quality assurance. Facilities for the project comprise complete equipment spectroscopy, polymer processing at mini-scale and mechanical test.

ICT developed and patented a lignin-natural-fibre-based compound called ARBOFORM. The compound has a very characteristic odour, mainly from phenolic groups which might limit use and applications. ICT will provide compounds of ARBOFORM as a base for investigation summarised by 2 tasks:

(1) Characterization of Lignin using Spectroscopy

Near infrared spectroscopy will characterize commercial lignin and that lignin achieved by the enzymatic pre-treatment. It will act as quality control for the raw material lignin, for monitoring the pre-treatment and on-line control in processing.

(2) Compounding of lignin and natural fibres

Commercial available and enzymatic pre-treated lignin will be used as a component for test composites together with reinforcing hemp fibers. The injection molding conditions are to be investigated for enzymatic pre-treated lignin, standard lignin compounds being a reference. A mini injection-molding machine will process small amount of materials to samples for mechanical tests.

Expectations are:

  1. development of an on-line control lignin and compounds including processing
  2. reduction of the odour by enzymatic treatments and subsequent improvement of mechanical properties (e.g. tensile strength)

Project related activities:

  • Control/characterisation methods: On/In-line Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) for polymers, fibres and composites, UV/UV-vis and Raman spectroscopy
  • Injection moulding: Mini moulding BabyPlast

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