Biobased materials

 

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​A broad mastery of biomaterials and processes

More than 100 specialists at VTT are engaged in developing biobased material solutions. Our extensive research and development extends to natural and man-made fibres, nanocellulose, biopolymers, composite and foam technologies. We serve clients from the idea generation stage through laboratory and pilot stages all the way to market-ready applications. We also support customers with techno-economic viability studies and product safety controls.

Cut weight, cut cost, add value today

VTT serves its customers with lean, science-based R&D process and an economical way to develop new applications for biomaterials. In addition to lighter weight, we develop material applications delivering higher strength and added functionality.

 
VTT’s ability to demonstrate and pilot new bio-composite and high bulk fibre products—as well as our knowledge of and relationships within other industries—drives huge value for our customers.

 

OUR SOLUTIONS:​​​

Functional fibres

​Fibres with desired properties give efficiency to processing and add value to the end product. VTT can help you in tailoring your fibres to suit to your processes and increasing functionality to your fibre materials. 
Whether you want to increase fibre performance in your current process and products or to create completely new fibre based products, VTT expertise is on your service.

 

​​​Chemical modification of fibres

Our expertise is in a wide range of different chemical modifications, including esterifications, etherifications, oxidations, grafting reactions and surface-specific fibre tailoring via adsoprtions of functional polymers.

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Enzymatic modification of fibres

Our key competence is based on a profound knowledge of the enzymology of lignocellulosics and natural fibres, constant screening of new enzymes and exploring fresh enzyme applications.

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​​​Physical modification of fibres and fibre networks

VTT has a deep knowledge of control of the fibre deformations, fine-tuning of the fibre structure for particular applications and improving the reactivity of fibres.

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​​​Nanocellulose tailoring

VTT has a profound expertise in how to produce, tailor and functionalise several different kinds of nanocellulosic materials and the structures of these (e.g. gels, films, webs, foams) from various plant-based raw material sources.

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​​​Tailored pulps for different end products

Besides understanding the importance of size, conformability and surface characteristics of particles with respect to end-product performance, we also can evaluate the processing options for achieving the required property combinations

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Ionic liquid-based pulping (ILS and DES)

We combine different conventional treatment steps and a large battery of fibre analyses with IL pulping and IL technology in fibre treatments for specialty applications.

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Production of cellulose nanofibrils (CNF)

VTT offers solutions for producing cellulose nanofibrils with controlled size by mechanical fibrillation and different kinds of mechanical, enzymatic and chemical pre-treatments.

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​​​Sulphur-based pulping

VTT develops kraft and sulphite processes for the production of paper and dissolving grade pulps by raw material screenings, process modification simulations, unit operation optimizations and techno-economic feasibility studies.

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Sulphur-free pulping

Optimising sulphur-free biorefinery processes, targeting comprehensive exploitation of the whole raw material and fractionating it into precursors.

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Foam forming platform

Foam forming enables a step like change in the resource-efficiency for various product sectors including paper, paperboard, tissue, non-woven and even construction and insulation industries. We have extensive expertise in biopolymers, composites, foam structures, fibres. We are strong on process, with testing and pilot production facilities across the value chain—from raw materials to end products.

​​​​Fibre webs with novel features

VTT brings novel features to fibre webs by novel technologies and by introducing novel raw materials: increase in strength, good barrier properties, unique level of mouldability.

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​​​Fibre upgrading

VTT has combined its expertise in chemical pulping, enzymatic and mechanical treatments: Fibres with high purity and proper polymer chain length can be produced from paper grade pulp, and even from recycled and waste material.

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​​​Acoustic elements

The new materials are developed by combining VTT’s knowledge of natural fibres, acoustic engineering and foam forming production technology. Foam forming enables the production of acoustic materials: wet fibre foam creates a porous structure with the open air pockets needed for sound absorption.

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​​​Fibre cushion for packaging

Strong competence on unit processes such as forming and drying are basic in developing new fibre-based products. One example is lightweight material for replacing EPS in the cushioning of different packaging needs.

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​​​Thermal insulation

VTT is developing technologies to use bio-polymers and wood fibre in thermal insulation materials: environmentally friendly, renewable raw-materials and cost-efficient production processes.

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Biocomposite & biopolymer foams

VTT’s offering in the area of bio-composites and biopolymer foams is built on extensive research background in fibre and bioplastic modifications and on competences and research facilities covering the needs of the whole value chain. Leverage the knowledge of our 100+ specialists hard at work developing bio-based material solutions. We have extensive research on natural and man-made fibres, nanocellulose, biopolymers, composite and foam technologies. You can rely on VTT knowledge and expertise from idea generation through to laboratory work and piloting to market-ready applications.

​​​Biopolymer foams

We focus on particle and extrusion foaming of bio-polymer materials for various applications in the construction and packaging sectors. In addition, we do extrusion foaming for bio-composite materials.

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​​​High performance fibre composites

We pre-process chemical and mechanical of fibres for optimised fibre-matrix adhesion and performance. We focus on process development so as to minimise fibre breakage in extrusion and moulding processes.

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​​​Rigid plastics

VTT has extensive experience of processing bio-based plastics for improved thermo-mechanical and barrier properties.
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Biobarriers

The current trend of lean processes emphasises the efficient use of all resources. VTT’s work with foam forming technology has enabled a leap in lightweighting, and simultaneously opened the door for new fiber-based innovations. Our extensive work with nanocellulose has led to several applications, the nanocellulose film being a good example.

​​​Oxygen barriers

VTT core competences cover the development of barrier materials (both for films and coatings) in general, formulation and processing of bioproducts, surface treatment and converting techniques, and material characterization.

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​​​Surface functionalisation and chemical dosage by foam coating

VTT has demonstrated the use of foam coating in several applications: from thin barrier coatings for paperboard to applying chemicals on wet web and simultaneously aiding water removal.

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​​​Mouldable paperboard

VTT mouldable paperboard technology enables the replacement of plastics in deep-drawn products: renewable raw materials, excellent stiffness and recyclability.

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​​​Grease and mineral barriers

VTT’s core competences cover the development of barrier materials (both for films and coatings), formulation and application of bioproducts, and different surface treatment and converting techniques.

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​​​Dispersion and foam coating technologies

Our approach to packaging development is to develop materials and processes in tandem. This increases the speed of innovation, an important part of the fast-changing packaging business. Our expertise and piloting facilities cover the whole chain— from raw materials, through production, to end products.

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​​​Nanocellulose film

We cover to the whole production chain of nanocellulose – from the selection of raw materials to the development of the production process and modification of nanocellulose material according to the needs of various applications.

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​​​Functional web

VTT develops applied coating and finishing technologies for textile materials: foam forming, plasma and printing for web functionalization ranging from surface treatments and extremely thin coatings to thicker coatings.
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Recyclable biomaterials

VTT modifies cellulose-based fibers and apply them via web forming and fibre yarn production processes to meet the most advanced requirements of our customers. Our simplified processes use less water and energy but deliver higher profit margins and product differentiation. Using renewable, biodegradable materials is an added benefit.

​​​Cellulose dissolution technique

VTT´s dissolution technology is an environmentally friendly solution for turning discarded textiles into a new fiber source for the textile industry. Used textiles, not recyclable by other means, can replace cotton and man-made fibers with no compromise in quality.

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​​​Environment-friendly disposables

VTT competences cover resource-efficient processes for nonwoven structures both at laboratory- and pilot-scale, e.g. foam forming. We’re focused on renewable fibre creation and recycling.

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​​​Textiles for advanced apparel requirements

VTT has competence in functional materials and solutions for work and protective clothing.

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​​​Fibre recovery

VTT develops technologies with which cellulosic materials can be recovered by dissolving, and which can be applied in textiles.

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​​​Wood based textile fibres

VTT has developed technologies for dissolving cellulose for the production of regenerated man-made fibre materials.

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Infrastructure and business development

 

​​​BIORUUKKI Pilot centre

Bioruukki is our unique innovation and demonstration platform for bio- and circular economy businesses​.

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​​​Bioeconomy concept development and evaluation

VTT’s strong expertise in bioeconomy’s process and product development, together with our well-established approaches for systematic evaluation, simulation and modelling, will provide a fast lane to holistic feasibility estimates of novel concepts. We provide a fast lane to holistic feasibility estimates of novel concepts.​ ​​​

Discover what collaboration with VTT can achieve: 


Fresh thinking

Our customers tell us that collaborating with VTT adds value in a number of ways. It brings fresh thinking to the table, offers proven technologies that can be tailored to their specific needs, and accelerates the development and implementation process.

How we work

Working with VTT is different. Instead of developing everything internally or working with companies pushing proprietary solutions, we function as an extended part of your team. With VTT, you are tapping into biobased materials sector research and development that is both deep and broad.

 
Let’s talk

We invite you to meet with us so that we can gain a better understanding of the most important challenges you are facing and how we can help you to solve them.

CONTACT US
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CONTACT US

P.O. Box 1000, FI-02044 VTT, Finland
Tel. exchange +358 20 722 111
Opening hours Mon - Fri 8:00 - 16:30,
UTC +2 time zone

CUSTOMER SERVICE

info@vtt.fi
Tel. +358 20 722 7070
Opening hours Mon - Fri 9:00 - 11:00 and 12:00 - 15:00,
UTC +2 time zone