Repsol Case Study: Valorization of Lignin to Chemicals or Materials in an Integrated Biorefinery

The challenger


Repsol S.A. is a global multi-energy provider headquartered in Madrid (Spain) that is engaged in worldwide upstream and downstream activities with the ambition to drive the evolution towards a low-emissions energy model. Repsol is leading the energy transition with its ambition of achieving zero net emissions by 2050, by deploying an integrated model of decarbonization technologies based on enhanced efficiency, increased renewable power generation capacity, production of low-carbon fuels, development of new customer solutions, the circular economy, and by driving breakthrough projects to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.


The company employs more than 24,000 employees worldwide and distributes its products in nearly 100 countries to around 24 million customers.




Repsol was seeking an SME or startup that could offer a technology that converts lignin into green products or materials that improve the economic performance of the biorefinery without worsening the carbon footprint.


Solution Provider


MetGen is a biotechnology company providing bioprocessing solutions for multiple industries and biorefineries enabling a new wave of bio-based products. They combine synthetic biology with chemistry and process engineering to create full industrial solutions that enable better utilization of raw materials and transition towards bio-based economy for energy, forestry, and chemical industries.



Solution Proposed


MetGen’s demonstration products are based on METNIN™ lignin refining technology. METNIN™ products are bio-based materials used in packaging, resin, and foam products with demonstrated environmental benefits with respect to their oil-based counterparts. The refining technology is lignin agnostic and provides the missing link in the value chain between crude lignin and high-value lignin fractions for specific end-user products. This technology enables a cost-efficient conversion of lignin into a wide variety of building blocks with specific molecular sizes.




The collaboration took place between October and November 2022. MetGen was able to provide Repsol biobased lignopolyol product METNIN™ NANOPolyol L30 for proof-of-concept validation. 


In addition, MetGen was able to increase the TRL of NANOPOlyol production from TRL3 to TRL4. In addition, the SME is now commissioning a pilot reactor to scale up to production to TRL 6. 


Read here Repsol’s and EV Biotech Case Study


Read here P&G and CO2BioClean’s Case Study


Read here Efacec and Izum Case Study


Read here Siemens Energy and ENERGINEERING LTD Case Study


Read here Saint-Gobain Portugal and Haydale Case Study


Read here APTIV and Dropslab Case Study


To read a summary of all the challenges, download the Booklet


Related articles

Subscribe for the latest news

Get early access to the latest PITCCH’ news and updates.