Frequently Asked Questions:
What are lignosulfonates and where do they come from?
Lignosulfonates are complex polymers derived from trees. (A polymer is a compound formed of many smaller molecules.) The wood from trees is composed mainly of three components – cellulose, hemicellolose and lignin. In the sulfite pulping process, the lignins are sulfonated so they become water soluble and thus can be separated from the insoluble cellulose. The soluble lignins are called lignosulfonates.
What are lignosulfonates used for?
Lignosulfonates are extremely versatile and are used in a wide variety of industrial applications. While most often associated by the general public with dust control and surface stabilization for roads, lignosulfonates are used as binders, dispersants, emulsifiers and sequestrates in a host of products such as gyspum board, animal feed pellets and micro nutrient systems.
Are lignosulfonates environmentally friendly?
Extensive studies have been conducted to evaluate the effects of lignosulfonates on the environment. Results show that they are not harmful to plants, animals or aquatic life when properly manufactured and applied. Lignosulfonates have been used as a treatment for dirt roads in Europe and the United States since the 1920’s.
Do lignosulfonates contain heavy metals?
Lignosulfonates are derived from wood and thus contain trace amounts of the metals that are naturally present in trees. The levels and types of metals vary depending upon the types of trees and the soil on which they were grown. The amounts of metals typically found in lignosulfonates are well below the current EPA limit of one part per million. The industry has voluntary standards for the levels of heavy metals in lignosulfonates.