Lignosulphonates or Biopolymers

Lignosulphonate is not a new chemical. It has been utilised in the raw form of various descriptions since the mid-1930s. Primarily very effective as a concrete admixture, the use of this miracle dispersant from trees has evolved into a myriad of industrial applications. It has gained traction as a very competent substitute in many applications where petrochemicals would normally be used. As it is sourced from the pulping process of wood, the extracted polymer is naturally aligned to soil conditioning or plant nutrition, in some of its refined forms at acceptable pH levels.

Harrismith corm experiment

In the paper sizing industry, the economic use combined with a reduction in starch consumption pays dividends seeing an increased crushing strength. The cost of starch per ton has a huge impact on the financial viability of paper mills, the increase in mechanical strength and moisture resistant properties of packaging is evolving rapidly, with fast food sales on the rise and packaging demands changing to a lower plastic content due to environmental concerns.

As mentioned earlier, the use of lignosulphonates in concrete goes back nearly 100 years. The early discovery of the water reducing and plasticising properties of this dispersant, led to a whole new mix design technology. In later years, the efficacy of lignosulphnates have been augmented by synthetic additives, improving the performance of concrete to meet the needs of modern day construction techniques.

Improving the flowability of concrete for placing

The use of lignosulphonates as a dust pallative is a very effective and environmentally acceptable method. The natural binding properties work well to to reduce particle loss at the wearing surface due to tyre scrub, and its watersoluble charcter, lends to easy reshaping of gravel surface roads.

Heavy traffic road treated with lignosulphonate