HELSINKI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SWEETWOODS is a 43-million-euro joint pilot project that was recently granted 21 million euros in funding under the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme’s Bio-Based Industries financial instrument.
“Receiving the funding is a major victory for all parties involved in the project. Specialists representing the EU and bioindustries ranked the project as the best of the round of financing, giving the project full marks,” describes Peep Pitk, the R&D Manager of the Estonian Graanul Invest Group.
The SWEETWOODS project covers the entire material process. Breaking down the wood into pure sugars and lignin makes it possible to further refine the material into high added value products that can be used to replace oil-based chemicals and plastics.
“The project can revolutionise the future of the entire global material economy,” states Spinverse’s Managing Director Laura Koponen, who has been in charge of project preparation.
The objective is to implement the technology at a full industrial scale in four years. The project will create new material economy value chains where wood plays a vital role.
The biorefinement concept can transform 80 tonnes of hardwood into high added value products like bioplastics, insulation materials, cushions, fuels and sweeteners.
“The project allows us to produce with wood what is currently made with oil.” comments MetGen’s Chief Technology Officer Matti Heikkilä.
The project is based on collaboration between several companies. The responsible manager is the Estonian Graanul Biotech specialises in wood processing. The Finnish MetGen’s pioneering enzyme technology plays a key role in the efficient extraction of pure biomaterials for further processing. The biomaterial is used, for example, by the German Tecnaro GmbH for biocomposites, Armacell via Ultima Gmbh for elastomeric foams, the French Global Bioenergies for biofuels and the Belgian Recticel N.V. for polyurethane foams. The Finnish Spinverse is orchestrating the project.