LignoPure, an early stage start-up based in Hamburg, has won the innovation category of the Global Blockchain Challenge, which ended Wednesday (November 13, 2019) in Malaga. This latest win comes after the company placed second at the Future Hamburg Award in May with their innovative, lignin-based sunscreen.
From sunscreen to insulating material
Transforming a complex research project into a profitable business idea proved a tough challenge for LignoPure. The firm uses Lignin, a renewable biopolymer, to develop new materials and products for everyday life. Lignin is a natural and biodegradable alternative to oil-based raw materials, which is also used to produce plastic microparticles. Lignin as a sustainable microplastic substitute is definitely a media-grabbing story, but for LingoPure this application is just one of many. The non-toxic nature of Lignin means it could be used in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics as well. LignoPure presented the idea of a lignin-based sunscreen with the Belgian company ABInBev and Japanese corporation NEC. If successful, the lignin product will not damage the coral reefs and part of the sales will be donated to NGOs across the world to plant corals and marine grasses
Lignin can act as an antioxidant and is flame retardant, which opens up entirely new possibilities for insulating buildings. Polymer compounds can also be used in 3D printing and plastic injection molding. This vast spectrum offers LignoPure great, long-term opportunities and allows them to co-operate with partners across different industries and to produce environment-friendly products and materials.
Start-up with potential
The LignoPure team consists mainly of women. The start-up’s success, which was only registered as a GmbH this year, proves the strategy right. The company recently came second in the Bio-Security Competence Centre’s Bio-Founder Competition and they also reached the finals of the Start Green Award – a digital information and networking portal for environment-friendly start-ups. The founders appreciate Hamburg’s strong networks such as the EU GoldCluster Life Sciences North, the support from the Startup Dock Hamburg, Hamburg Startups and TuTech GmbH. The team has also received backing from TUHH’s Institute for Thermal Process Engineering. The company is expected to grow both its products and workforce next year.