ExpandFibre Programmes take forward company-led R&D
ExpandFibre Programmes by Fortum and Metsä Group encompass the company-lead R&D done together and separately in the seven themes of ExpandFibre. The joint work between Fortum and Metsä Group is focused especially on the textile and biocomposites themes. The companies work in close co-operation with academia, technology developers and R&D service providers to drive R&D that supports the future commercialization of new bioproducts. The Programmes run as a portfolio of shorter projects that may link to publicly funded Ecosystem projects such as Co-Innovation projects funded by Business Finland.
Fortum Bio2X thinks big with straw
Fortum’s Bio2X programme concentrates on chemical fractionation of residual straw into high-value bioproducts that apply the technology developed by Chempolis Oy. By separation and productization of all the components of lignocellulosic raw material into cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, material efficiency and thereby the environmental impact of the process will gain significant benefits. The first biorefinery, using locally harvested bamboo as raw material, is currently being built in India. ExpandFibre strengthens the Bio2X research efforts with various partners in bio and circular economy. By aiming to develop and supply sustainable textile fibres for the globally growing market, ExpandFibre has a key role in helping Bio2X to reach its vision of becoming a leading supplier of responsible textile fibres. Within biocomposites, Fortum can also enhance the pace in finding new applications for the development of novel materials based on recycled plastics from Fortum Recycling and Waste. The product and application development of lignin and hemicellulose, as well as straw supply and fractionation technology development, are addressed in their respective theme areas.
Metsä Group wants to take pulp fibre to new heights
ExpandFibre enables Metsä Group to accelerate its efforts in upgrading pulp fibres from sustainable northern wood to new uses where it replaces plastics and other fossil-based materials. Metsä Group companies participating in ExpandFibre are Metsä Spring (theme areas: Textiles, Packaging, and Biocomposites), Metsä Board (Packaging) and Metsä Fibre (Other fibre products). ExpandFibre supports the development of sustainable textile fibres and new 3D fibre products by Metsä Spring, as well as the innovative paperboard-based packaging solutions by Metsä Board.