Biomass processing

An aerial photo of a forest with a river running through it, ending in a lake

We offer development of holistic biomass processing for turning your bio-based raw materials into valuable products. Upgrade your renewable raw material or waste stream into industrial raw materials for novel fibre products, textiles, plastic-like products, biochemicals and other ingredients.

Key facts

Also renewable raw materials need to be efficiently utilized 

Future biorefineries aim at complete utilization of raw materials for products 

Lignocellulose is suitable for many novel uses that currently base on fossil resources 

Transition from fossil resources towards renewable alternatives is accelerating. Increasing population leads to increasing demand for raw materials, while mitigating the effects of climate change calls for more sustainable production solutions. Many industries will find that their waste streams can become a valuable commodity. Processing the biomass or waste stream is the first crucial step in creating completely new products. Here modern biorefineries are of essence.

Replacing fossil-based products with bio-applications requires efficient biorefineries  

VTT has unique competences and versatile research infrastructure for developing innovations to treat and modify bio-based raw materials such as wood or bark or straw for novel biotechnical and material applications. We invite companies to co-develop and upscale new products to be used for example in textiles and bio-plastics, and particularly the involved biomass processing concepts for their benefit. 

Biomass pretreatments for bio-based chemicals

The demand for bio-based platform chemicals will grow rapidly in the coming years. Biomass requires proper pretreatments for enabling efficient biotechnical production of such chemicals. The primary purpose of the biomass pretreatments is to improve the accessibility of biomass for enzymes, but also to provide high yield and purity for the products during the down-stream processing. VTT can pretreat your biomass into a form that can be the basis for platform chemicals.

Biomass fractionation for cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin based products

Future biorefineries will enable complete fractionation of renewable raw materials into their main components. The scarcity of raw materials and the need to avoid CO2 emissions are the main drivers for such development. One of the most promising biorefinery concepts is based on alkaline oxidation method developed by VTT. The method is suitable for most renewable and some recovered bio-based raw materials, providing separate cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin fractions for further utilization in areas such as textiles.

Modification of biomass fractions for value-added applications

Textiles are made using polyester, natural and regenerated fibers. The emerging sustainable cellulose regeneration methods require high reactivity and purity from the cellulose. VTT is developing cellulose modification, dissolution and regeneration technologies involved.

Cellulose nanofibrils, CNF, is highly refined cellulose. VTT has experience on sustainable conversion of hundreds of cellulose sources for CNF. CNF applications include such as strength enhancers for packaging, structure controller for 3D printed materials, rheology modifier for cosmetics, barrier films for packages, drug carrier for medical applications, etc.

VTT has also developed methods for preparing plastic-like materials and films from cellulose and hemicelluloses to replace fossil-based plastics. VTT is upscaling a lignin modification process for obtaining bio-based alternative for oil-derived synthetic cement plasticizers used in the construction industry.

VTT can help your company to make the most of all your bio-based raw materials and to continue your journey towards your zero-waste, fossil free future. 

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