Sandra Constant

"A glance at Avantium’s Lignins and Furanic Humins"

A glance at Avantium’s Lignins and Furanic Humins

S.E Constant, A.J Jongerius, T. Claessen and E. de Jong

 Avantium, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Lignins and humins are two by-products obtained from lignocellulosic valorization processes. Given the large amount of the carbon input that they can contain, they need to be considered as feed. In addition, all these product streams, when marketed at their highest value, deliver an economically viable technology for sustainable biochemical production [1]. However, only limited valorization options are available; in fact, these materials are nowadays often simply considered as waste and mainly burnt as fuel for their heating value.

Lignin is an amorphous, aromatic polymer and is present in the lignocellulosic biomass as one of the three main components. Furanic humins, on the other hand, are formed during acid-catalyzed (hydro)thermal conversion of the carbohydrate fractions of biomass, e.g. for the production of furfural and levulinate derivatives. More insight into the chemical structure and properties of these lignins and humins is essential to understand their formation, chemical-recalcitrance and to guide further development of application strategies.

In this presentation, I will provide an overview of the lignins and furanic humins produced by Avantium with Dawn technology™ and YXY® processes. Avantium’s Dawn Technology biorefinery delivers 2G “pure” glucose and mixed sugars for industrial applications. Additionally, Dawn Technology produces large amounts of lignin that can be valorized in a wide range of applications. In other hand, the YXY® Technology catalytically converts plant-based sugar (fructose) into FDCA, the key building block for a wide range of plant-based chemicals and plastics such as polyethylene furanoate (PEF). The furanic humins are by-products of YXY® process currently producing FDCA at the pilot plant in Geleen and larger quantities are expected from the FDCA Flagship Plant in 2024 in Delfzijl.

[1] de Jong, E., Gosselink R.J.A. (2014) Lignocellulose-based chemical products. In: “Bioenergy Research: Advances and Applications” (eds. Gupta, V.K., et. al.) Elsevier, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. pp. 277-313. ISBN: 978-0-444-59561-4.


Sandra Constant is a Scientist at Avantium B.V. since 2017. She obtained her PhD on catalytic valorization of lignocellulosic biomass (ENSCM, France), and joined the group of Bert Weckhuysen and Pieter Bruijnincx for a postdoctoral research within the Catchbio consortium (Utrecht University, The Netherlands). In her current tasks, she is involved in multiple R&D projects in the renewable chemistry department. Her expertise focuses on the valorization and characterization of residual biomass based streams (lignins, furanic humins, sugars and polyols).