CSA Group and SCC collaborate on a new National Standard helping advance the use of forest bioproducts

The new standard provides guidance for analyzing lignin properties

Broader adoption of forest-based bioproducts can contribute to achieving Canada’s net-zero economy goals. Bioproducts which refer to materials, chemicals, and energy derived from renewable biological resources, have the potential to replace fossil-based fuels, chemicals, and other materials and open up new markets that will provide wide environmental, health, and social benefits.

Moving from non-renewable resources to a bioeconomy is, however, not straightforward, and many barriers still exist. To be able to commercialize forest bioproducts on a larger scale, producers, end-users, and other stakeholders need to better understand the properties of the forest raw materials and by-products, such as cellulose and lignin.

Lignin exists naturally in plants and trees and gives them their physical strength. Its chemical structure allows for a wide range of applications, potentially replacing fossil-based raw materials in plastics, fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals, resins, rubber additives, carbon fibers, and other products.

Lignin extraction and commercialization can benefit the environment and the economy, and its use is being further explored and developed in Canada. Lignin production can provide mills with an added economic incentive through the creation of new markets and commercial opportunities and improve energy efficiency in the pulp and paper sector. To develop and commercialize new lignin-based bioproducts, it is essential to understand lignin properties and how it behaves when heated or dried.

In 2018, CSA Group developed a roadmap to help prioritize standard needs for the characterization of lignin properties. With the support of Canadian and international experts, the roadmap highlighted a strong need for standardization of key lignin composition, including hydroxyl and carboxyl content, its thermal properties, and analytical protocols. Such standards can support the development and commercialization of new bioproducts and markets.

The new National Standard of Canada developed by CSA Group, CSA W213:22, Lignin — Quantification of hydroxyl groups by 31P NMR, complements CSA Group’s existing portfolio of lignin-related standards, including CSA W206:20, Kraft lignin — Glass transition temperature by differential scanning calorimetry, and CSA W207:20, Kraft lignin — Determination of thermal stability by thermogravimetry.

CSA W213:22 provides further guidance on lignin analysis, thus supporting the advancement of its utilization in bioproducts and the growth of the forest bioeconomy sector.

“Development of this new National Standard represents a pivotal step in Canada’s progress towards net-zero economy goals and movement to a bioeconomy,” says Michael Leering, Director, Environment and Business Excellence, CSA Group. “CSA Group looks forward to further collaboration and continuing to grow the portfolio of standards required to help Canadian industries commercialize the use of forest bioproducts.”

“There is enormous potential in bioproducts like lignin for sustainability benefits across many industries, and Canada is working internationally to facilitate science-informed market development through organizations like the International Bioeconomy Forum,” says Pierre Bilodeau, Vice President, Strategy and Stakeholder Engagement for the Standards Council of Canada. “This new National Standard of Canada will provide a strong foundation to support this work and our evolving natural resources sector.”

About CSA Group
CSA Group is a global organization dedicated to safety, social good and sustainability. We are a leader in Standards Development and in Testing, Inspection and Certification around the world including Canada, the U.S., Europe and Asia. Our mandate is to hold the future to a higher standard.

About the Standards Council of Canada
Established in 1970 as a federal Crown corporation, the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) is Canada’s voice on standards and accreditation on the national and international stage. SCC works closely with a vast network of partners to promote the development of effective and efficient standards that protect the health, safety and well-being of Canadians while helping businesses prosper. As Canada’s leading accreditation organization, SCC creates market confidence at home and abroad by ensuring that conformity assessment bodies meet the highest national and international standards. SCC advances Canada’s interest on the international scene as a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) by connecting thousands of people to global networks and resources, opening a world of possibilities for Canadians and businesses.

Media may contact: 
Kimberly Gibson
CSA Group
[email protected]




April 22, 2022