Fortum is launching a significant development project that aims to manufacture high-value products from agricultural residue and woody biomass, with the aim to replace the use of fossil and other environmentally taxing raw materials. The project will be a part of Business Finland’s Bio and Circular Finland Program, which is aiming to make Finland the forerunner of the circular economy.
"We are living in a world with diminishing natural resources, and we aspire to be one of the forerunners in resource efficiency. For the world’s future, biomass is a valuable raw material that can be used to produce many more products of value than today," says Risto Sormunen, Head of the Bio2X Program.
The project will target to significantly increase the value of biomass. Fortum and the partners will validate and optimize novel biomass fractionation and refining technologies to produce high-quality cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, and further develop high-value end products from these fractions: e.g. sustainable textiles, industrial dispersants and ingredients for consumer goods. Various raw materials will be studied, e.g. wood, agricultural residues (e.g. straws) and recycled materials, to enable flexible process solutions.
Fortum will collaborate with SMEs, start-ups, large companies and research institutes to create basis for the first biovillages, in which a fractionation-based biorefinery is integrated with further manufacturing processes according to target market demands.
Demand for bio-based raw materials and other materials is growing rapidly in, e.g., the textile industry. In addition to utilising woody biomass, the downstream processing opportunities for agrocultural biomass, such as straw, are also being explored.
How we reached the goals
Spinverse assisted in project planning and in the preparation of the funding proposal. Spinverse also collected and formulated texts to the proposal and actively worked to ensure the overall quality of the project proposal.
Fortum already has significant competence in utilising biomass in district heating business and the company is strongly committed to development of the circular economy.