VTT is developing green solvents which are mixtures of two or more components producing a homogenous liquid with unique dissolving properties, low vapour pressure, low flammability, non-volatile as well components that can easily be separated and recycled back to their original components.
A variety of green, non-toxic chemicals and even enzymes can be utilized in a stable environment cost efficiently.DESs are a sustainable and cheap alternative compared to solvents used today.
From know-how to applications
VTT’s know-how covers whole research chain; from synthesis of DESs to their use in applications as such, and with enzymes as well their recovery to original components.
Current research focuses on fractionation of biomass as well as dissolution and upgrading of individual biomass components and new chemical building blocks.
Equipment, knowledge and collaboration
In this area, VTT has state-of-the-art facilities from lab to pilot-scale for all R&D stages including a full range of characterization instruments and skilful researchers.
Development work has been done in internal projects in cooperation with domestic industry in TEKES and the Finnish Bioeconomy Cluster’s (FiBiC) research programs and international EU-projects. Evaluation of usability by industry currently covers SMEs and large chemical, fuel and pharma companies.
The green solvent competences at VTT can be applied in biomass fractionation and upgrading of separated components and in enzymatic reactions for biomass pretreatment and hydrolysis for biofuel and chemical production.