“The pulp production process produces some side-streams, which have up until now been considered of low value.”
Kemira has announced that it has joined a four-year EU funded project which aims to develop 100% bio-based chemicals, produced from renewable raw materials.
The project also aims to develop new means to improve production efficiency at pulp mills with higher utilisation of wood biomass, Kemira said in a statement.
The project, which was initially launched in May, has received €5.9 million funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
The total budget of the project is €9.6 million and it is one of several undertakings aimed at developing a sustainable bio-based industry sector in Europe. Kemira (@KemiraGroup) is not the only company participating in the project. A number of different organisations involved in the environmental sector across Europe are also contributing to the project, including Ecohelix, Avantium Chemicals, Metgen, Novamont Spa, Fundacio Universitaria Balmes, Graanul Biotech and Spinverse.
During the four-year project, Kemira and other project members will conduct demonstration-scale trial runs at a dissolving pulp mill in Europe.
Biotechnology company Ecohelix will provide and operate the demonstration unit and Kemira will assess the technical and economic feasibility of the bio-based offerings produced in the project.
According to Kemira, the aim is to develop fully bio-based polymeric chemistries for paper and cardboard production to complement and even replace polymers that are derived from petroleum.
“The pulp production process produces some side-streams, which have up until now been considered of low value. The project partners are looking to change this and enable a more holistic and sustainable utilisation of wood biomass,” said Veli-Matti Vuorenpalo, Manager of Global Processes and Projects at Kemira R&D.
He added: “We see that there is a great potential to improve the resource efficiency and circulation of materials in the process and to replace fossil-based raw materials with renewable ones.”