Kemira to help development of 100% bio-based chemicals for paper and cardboard production; part of EU-funded project

Finland’s Kemira Oyj is part of 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 utilization of wood biomass.

The project, started May 2019, has received €5.9M funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program; it is one of several undertakings aimed at developing a sustainable bio-based industry sector in Europe. The total budget is €9.6M.

The project also includes Ecohelix (SE), Avantium Chemicals BV (NL), Metgen Oy (FI), Novamont Spa (IT), Fundacio Universitaria Balmes (ES), Graanul Biotech Ou (EE) and Spinverse (FI).

Kemira and other project members will run demonstration- scale trials at a dissolving pulp mill in Europe. Biotechnology company Ecohelix will provide and operate the demonstration unit. Kemira’s role is to assess the technical and economic feasibility of the bio-based offerings produced. The aim is to develop fully biobased polymeric chemistries for paper and cardboard production to complement and even replace polymers that are derived from petroleum.

“The pulp production process produces some sidestreams, 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 utilization 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 fossilbased raw materials with renewable ones,” says Veli-Matti Vuorenpalo, manager of global processes and projects at Kemira R&D.

Kemira Oyj, www.kemira.com

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