Metsä Fibre secured multiannual funding from the EU for new development partnerships. According to the announcement, the partnerships include new technologies to produce lignin-based products (LigniOx project) and pulp-based textile fibres (Biomotive projec), as well as the utilisation of bark as a replacement for coal in the production of heat and electricity (Biofficiency project).
The recently initiated long-term development projects aim to prove the commercial viability of these concepts. The projects aim to strengthen and diversify the future bioproduct portfolio and ecosystems of Metsä Group and Metsä Fibre, which is part of Metsä Group.
- LigniOx project focuses on the utilisation of lignin in products with high added value. The project advances a technology developed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, in which wood-based lignin is separated from the black liquor generated in pulp production. At the same time, it will be converted into so-called dispersants, i.e. additives that improve solutions and mixtures. One example of the potential end-products is a plasticiser, which improves the workability of concrete.
- Biomotive project aims to develop new environmentally friendly biomaterials to be used in car parts, for instance. Metsä Fibre’s role in Biomotive is to develop a new production method for pulp-based textile fibres. In addition to clothing, textile fibres are also used in technical textiles, such as the seats of vehicles.
- Biofficiency project , which studies, among others, the significance of bark’s high ash content when it is used as fuel in large-scale combined heat and power boilers.
LigniOx and Biomotive are four-year projects operating under the Bio-Based Industries PPP instrument, while Biofficiency is a three-year project operating under the European Union’s normal Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
Niklas von Weymarn, Vice President, Research at Metsä Fibre, commented:
“Operating within the EU’s research and development networks demand perseverance and world-class competencies. The EU funding now granted to us is a clear indication of the high quality of Metsä Fibre’s research and development activities and the new concepts. It also indicates their relevance in respect to finding solutions that help mitigating some of the greatest challenges facing society, such as population growth and resource scarcit.”
Metsä Fibre is a world-leading producer of softwood pulp for high-quality paper, board and tissue producers in Europe and Far East. Its product brand is Botnia, which covers high- quality pulps as well as technical support and logistics service concept. Metsä Fibre’s sales in 2015 totaled approximately EUR 1.4 billion. The company employs around 850 people. Metsä Fibre is part of Metsä Group.
Earlier Metsä started production at its new LVL line in Finland
About Metsä Group:
The company is a forest industry group whose core business consists of tissue and cooking papers, paperboard, pulp, wood products, and wood supply and forest services. It has operations in almost 30 countries and production in 9 of them.