Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Lignin-first biorefining of Nordic poplar to produce cellulose fibers could displace cotton production on agricultural lands

Adler, Anneli; Kumaniaev, Ivan; Karacic, Almir; Baddigam, Kiran Reddy; Hanes, Rebecca J.; Subbotina, Elena; Bartling, Andrew W.; Huertas-Alonso, Alberto J.; Moreno, Andres; Hakansson, Helena; Mathew, Aji P.; Beckham, Gregg T.; Samec, Joseph S. M.;

Abstract

Here, we show that lignin-first biorefining of poplar can enable the production of dissolving cellulose pulp that can produce regenerated cellulose, which could substitute cotton. These results in turn indicate that agricultural land dedicated to cotton could be reclaimed for food production by extending poplar plantations to produce textile fibers. Based on climate-adapted poplar clones capable of growth on marginal lands in the Nordic region, we estimate an environmentally sustainable annual biomass production of similar to 11 tonnes/ha. At scale, lignin-first biorefining of this poplar could annually generate 2.4 tonnes/ha of dissolving pulp for textiles and 1.1 m(3) biofuels. Life cycle assessment indicates that, relative to cotton production, this approach could substantially reduce water consumption and identifies certain areas for further improvement. Overall, this work highlights a new value chain to reduce the environmental footprint of textiles, chemicals, and biofuels while enabling land reclamation and water savings from cotton back to food production.

Published in

Joule

2022, volume: 6, number: 8, pages: 1845-1858
Publisher: CELL PRESS

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Crop Production Ecology
Kumaniaev, Ivan
Stockholm University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Crop Production Ecology
Baddigam, Kiran Reddy
Stockholm University
Hanes, Rebecca J.
Center for Bioenergy Innovation
Subbotina, Elena
Stockholm University
Bartling, Andrew W.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory - USA
Huertas-Alonso, Alberto J.
Stockholm University
Huertas-Alonso, Alberto J.
Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha
Moreno, Andres
Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha
Hakansson, Helena
Karlstad University
Mathew, Aji P.
Stockholm University
Beckham, Gregg T.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory - USA
Samec, Joseph S. M.
Stockholm University
Samec, Joseph S. M.
Chulalongkorn University

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science
Renewable Bioenergy Research

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joule.2022.06.021

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/119285