ValCel project increased knowledge on new sustainable routes to high value cellulosic

Project news

Cellulose is one of the most abundant renewable raw material in numerous applications for packaging and process industries. The results of a two-year Value for Cellulosics project (ValCel) by VTT and University of Helsinki and University of Oulu have brought new pathways to produce sustainable value-added cellulose based renewable materials, such as textile fibres or chemically modified cellulose products replacing fossil-based materials.

The results of the two-year Value for Cellulosics project (ValCel) were recently presented at the final seminar in Espoo. One of the most important results was the huge potential to simplify cellulose esterification processes using ionic liquids (ILs) as solvents. The research work also showed very interesting possibilities for efficient high-consistency processing of cellulose in deep eutectic solvents (DES) to activate cellulose for further modification. The project included a considerable amount of research work, which aimed to better understand the effect of the type of cellulose raw material and the purity of the ionic liquid on the dissolution phenomena and the technical-economic feasibility of the textile fibre spinning process.

The co-innovation project was coordinated by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland in cooperation with University of Helsinki and University of Oulu. The ValCel project was focused on research and generating new basic knowledge on the topics and the key results are shown in a form of scientific peer-reviewed publications. So far the outcome has been two scientific publications and two conference presentations, and still 3-5 further publications are under preparation.

“The ValCel project was focusing on generation of new scientific knowledge on cellulose dissolution and chemical modification processes using novel solvents for cellulose. This further strengthens the top-level knowledge of cellulose materials and chemistry in our country. It enables future business opportunities for Finnish companies through better production processes and new renewable products.” says Mika Härkönen, Professor of Practice at VTT.

The funding of Business Finland and the eight participating Finnish companies, Kemira, Metsä Fibre, Metsä Spring, Liuotin Group, Top Analytica, Pixact ja BrightPlus, is highly appreciated. The project is part of the ExpandFibre ecosystem Programme by Fortum and Metsä Group.

Mika Härkönen
Mika Härkönen
Professor of Practice
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