A large proportion of the current fossil-based chemicals can be replaced with renewable alternatives. VTT provides several technological solutions to produce chemicals from a wide range of bio-based raw materials and sidestreams.

Key facts: biochemicals

Biochemicals provide highest value addition to bio-based raw materials and sidestreams

Transition from linear economy to bio- and circular economies is fast and provides business opportunities for industries

Wide range of biotechnical and chemical conversion techniques are available

Chemicals in their different forms are part of our daily life from polymer packages to the finest perfumes. Since early 2000s, significant efforts made on R&D to find new and innovative ways to produce biochemicals have offered a wide range of new molecules, which can be used as alternative building blocks in the chemical synthesis. Through chemistry and biotechnology, we can replace fossil-based resources with renewable natural resources and wastes to enable transition to bio- and circular economies.  

Nearly all the fossil-based components of current materials can be replaced with their renewable counterparts.

No technology or raw material alone can solely cover the need of fossil-based chemical products but a wide combination of different raw material streams and technologies for their conversion are needed.  VTT can help your company to develop processes to take advantage of previously unused raw materials. New solutions can benefit industries ranging from oil and biorefineries to chemical and packaging, as well as to food and cosmetics.

Three disciplines for superior solutions

VTT provides several industrially viable and scalable process solutions from lab-to-pilot scale for its customers to test. VTT employs a broad range of disciplines covering industrial biotechnology, green process chemistry and thermochemical conversion to push the development of biochemicals. Our unique expertise covers the whole innovation chain from the idea to the final product.  The in-house culture collection, robotic platforms, synthetic biology tools and excellence in bioprocess development enable fast engineering of microbes and scaling up the production of biochemicals.  

We also have a unique platform for chemical process and product development: a combination of modern intensified reactor technologies, multiple reactor systems and state-of-the-art analytical infrastructure for chemical, polymer and surface characterisations. Our flexible pilot facilities with skilled personnel serve as an agile scale-up platform for bioprocess, chemical processes and biobased fuels and energy -development.

Our solutions

In the decades to come, bio-based materials will be standard components of packaging and consumer products. Monomer production from non-food and waste streams or directly from synthesis gas, CO2 or methane (C1 resources) is very likely to spread. Biopolymers deliver real, long-lasting advantages over traditional polymers. VTT develops advanced biomonomers – the building blocks of our high-performance polymers for clients who want to increase competitiveness and capitalise on new business opportunities.

Drop-in substitute fuels and chemicals can replace what you and your customers use now with no need to adjust existing processes. VTT's bio-based, platform chemicals represent a low investment barrier, since we have done much of the work already. We at VTT can customise and apply next generation bio-based materials without risking performance or reliability.

We also apply efficient process chemistry technologies to generate added-value products from biomasses and wastes. With fractionation and chemical conversion valuable fine and specialty chemicals such as fatty acids and other extractives are produced for cosmetic, food and medicinal applications.

Having a strong in-house collaboration culture and all the different technologies under the same roof enables customers an easy access to multidisciplinary solutions.

Example cases


VTT collaborated with the French biotech company Deinove on the Deinol pilot. The resulting Deinococcus bacterial fermentation enabled 2nd generation bioethanol production with impressive results:

  • 60× improvement in biomass-based ethanol production
  • A big step forward towards commercialising the DEINOL process
  • Exceptional performance with 2G ethanol trial yields of 7.3%

Cargill/NatureWorks LLC

VTT collaborated with Cargill/NatureWorks LLC to develop new, efficient ways to convert plant matter into lactic acid and ultimately bioplastic polylactic acid – with microbes. These re-engineered yeasts are poised to revolutionize environmentally friendly bioplastics manufacturing.

  • Reduced production costs for plant-based bioplastics manufacturing
  • From biomass to bioplastic through a proven and efficient process
  • Up to 92 g/L of lactic acid an improved host suited for industrial production
Jari Rautio

Jari Rautio

Solution Sales Lead