VTT has developed methods for processing the most rapidly renewable
surface layer of peat, instead of using it for energy production. Bio-based
composite materials containing peat fibre, for example in the manufacture of
consumer products and construction materials, can replace the use of oil-based
The advantages of products containing peat fibre are bio base, low cost,
water resistance, impact strength, excellent fire endurance characteristics and
Through its various projects, VTT has developed materials containing
thermoplastic and panel-form peat fibre, as well as fibre-suitable preprocessing
methods. Milled peat can be used as peat fibre because it contains several peat
fractions. Ideally it should contain long, less-decomposed fibres enabling it to
function both as filling material and as reinforcing material in composite
The amount of raw material necessary for composite products would be a
fraction of current peat production, which is something that supports its use in
ecological products. Composite production is also an alternative to peat
burning, and would preserve jobs in the peat industry.
Materials containing peat fibre are suitable for processing with normal
plastic processing methods, including compounding, extrusion and injection
moulding. Currently no company in Finland is producing or exploiting these kinds
of peat composite materials.
Material solutions containing peat fibre can be used in construction (boards,
moulding, profiles, plate structures), product applications in horticulture and
agriculture and forestry (seedling guards, planters, peat-coloured wall
structures, plant supports), consumer products (golf tees, ornaments),
biodegradable packaging, earth-moving (erosion protectors, biodegradable support
structures) and funerary products.
VTT currently has three patent applications pending related to
peat-containing biocomposites. Development work has been funded in part by the
Tekes TULI project.