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Enzymatic modification of fibres

Take advantage of enzymes in your products!

Our fundamental understanding of the biochemistry of lignocellulose-acting enzymes and wide experience of their application are at your service when aiming for enhanced processability, improved product quality or novel end-use by targeted modification of natural fibres. For fibre tailoring, VTT can offer both in-house-produced and purified enzymes as well as a wide selection of commercial enzyme products. Combined with our extensive analytical tools and pilot environments we can offer a well-designed platform for testing novel product and process ideas with you.

With the help of VTT we have developed a novel process for fibrillation of pulp fibres. VTT`s extensive background information on cellulose-acting enzymes enabled us to screen the most potential enzyme preparation for our purposes. Additionally, VTT developed two high-end enzymatic methods to support our products; the first relates to the quantitative analysis of oxidised cellulose in a paper matrix, and the second to modification of Growdex Biofibril™ used as hydrogel in cell cultures. All these enzyme applications strengthen our product portfolio and are patented. (Kari Luukko, Senior manager, UPM)

Fundamental expertise on industrial enzyme applications for your profit

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. We can guide you to apply enzymes correctly for your benefit and to find feasible ways to exploit them in your processes or products. Besides providing excellent pilot facilities for test runs, we can also assist you with the trials at your facilities.

Lately, within the biorefinery concept we have also applied enzymes to the enrichment of valuable components, such as proteins and peptides, from the sidestreams of the food industry and algae biomass. Enzymes are specific and sustainable tools and perfectly suited to valorising different plant residues and biomasses to chemicals or materials.

Versatile pilot infra from enzyme production to analytics

Our laboratory and pilot infra covers the whole chain from production of crude enzyme via purification or tailoring of the enzyme preparation to the treatment of biomaterial with enzymes in reactors of different size and configuration. Additionally, we have the necessary equipment for aiding the impregnation of enzymes into a fibre matrix prior to further processing, e.g. refining for papermaking.

In addition to standard chemical methods we have developed a diversified toolbox of methods for the surface analysis of fibres; enzymatic peeling combined with liquid chromatography and microscopic mapping by immunochemical labelling technique offers a way to characterise the fibre surface in detail.

We have an active scientific network covering universities and research institutes not only in Europe but worldwide. We also have close collaboration with enzyme producers, giving us an opportunity to test their novel enzyme preparations prior to their commercialisation.

Enzymes are multiple and universal tools which can be exploited for the benefits of forest, textile, food and chemical industry.