SLRPTM Article

St. Simon's Presentation

SLRP Mass Balance (XLSX)


Science Direct

Royal Society of Chemistry



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About Us


Liquid Lignin Company develops and commercializes new lignin-based technologies.  We are experienced technological innovators. We form partnerships to enable rapid commercialization.  Our objective is to commercialize new green-chemistry products and environmentally-friendly processes that result in sustainable US businesses.



Michael Lake, CEO, started work at Westvaco (now MWV) in North Charleston, SC after earning his PhD in chemical engineering from Clemson. His career spanned 34 years in technology management regarding development of new processes and products using organic chemical byproducts from the pulp-and-paper industry, primarily rosin, fatty acid and lignin.  During his later years at Westvaco, Michael led a team of ten scientists and engineers that reviewed development efforts for lignin-based applications that had been ongoing since the 20’s to identify near-miss opportunities.  He uses insights from that project to guide technology development in lignin today.  In 2009, Michael and John Blackburn collaborated to win SBIR grants from the DOE that funded development of the Sequential Liquid-Lignin Recovery and Purification (SLRP™) process and to form Liquid Lignin Company.

John Blackburn, COO, started work at Westvaco after earning his PhD in chemical engineering from North Carolina State, working with process development involving natural products.  After leaving Westvaco, John joined Ometric, a start-up company where he worked to commercialize a real-time chemical analysis technology.  The company and technology were sold to a Fortune 100 company.  John then joined Michael to create Liquid Lignin Company.

Devon Stevens, Process Engineer, earned his BS in chemical engineering from Clemson then joined Liquid Lignin Company to design and start-up their pilot plant.  Devon leads the pilot runs.  Devon will be the on-the-ground engineer for LLC’s first commercial start-up of SLRP™.


Development Timeline of Liquid Lignin Company

2009       Provisional Patent Application filed for the SLRP™ process

2009       DOE awards Phase I SBIR for initial development of the SLRP™ process

2010       DOE awards Phase II SBIR to further develop the SLRP™ process

2011       SLRP™ pilot plant constructed at Clemson SC

2012       PCT Patent Application for SLRP™ process filed

2012       Initial trials successfully completed in SLRP™ pilot plant with multiple and diverse black liquors

2012       NSF GOALI project funded with Clemson University addressing fundamental lignin research

2012       Development initiated at Clemson University regarding pH-fractionation of lignin

2012       Development initiated at Clemson University regarding catalytic decomposition of lignin for value-added products

2012       PCT Patent Application filed for making furfural from papermaking black liquor

2013       Development initiated at Clemson University regarding high-purity lignin for polymers

2013       EPA awards Phase I SBIR to develop lignin-based wood preservative


Currently, Liquid Lignin Company is pursuing investors to build its first commercial SLRP™ and partners to commercialize the lignin-based wood preservative.