Finland: Sustainable Initiative Kemira Participates in EU Funded Project to Develop 100 % Bio-Based Chemicals
In this project, renewable raw materials will be used for the production of bio-based chemicals. Budgeted at 10.9 million dollars, the project aims at creating a sustainable bio-based industry sector in the European region.
Finland – Kemira has joined a four-year EU funded project which aims to develop 100 % bio-based chemicals, produced from renewable raw materials. In addition, the project aims to develop new means to improve production efficiency at pulp mills with higher utilisation of wood biomass.
The project which was kicked-off in May 2019, has received 6.7 million dollars (EUR 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 10.9 million dollars (EUR 9.6 million) and it is one of the several undertakings aimed at developing a sustainable bio-based industry sector in Europe. In addition to Kemira, the project involves different organisations across Europe: Ecohelix (SE), Avantium Chemicals (NL), Metgen Oy (FI), Novamont Spa (IT), Fundacio Universitaria Balmes (ES) and Graanul Biotech Ou (EE) and Spinverse (FI).
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's role is to assess the technical and economic feasibility of the bio-based offerings produced in the project. 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. 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," says Veli-Matti Vuorenpalo, Manager of Global Processes and Projects at Kemira R&D.