German materials manufacturer Covestro and California-based biotechnology company Genomatica joined forces to research and develop high-performance materials based on renewable feedstocks. With their collaboration announced on March 27, both partners are aiming to reduce the use of fossil-based resources such as crude oil. These are today still the most common carbon and raw material sources of the chemical and plastics industries. Using carbon from plants instead would help reduce CO2 emissions and close the carbon loop in another move towards a circular economy.
Stora Enso partnered with H&M group and Inter IKEA group to industrialize TreeToTextile. TreeToTextile AB is a joint venture between H&M group, Inter IKEA group and innovator Lars Stigsson since 2014, with the aim of developing new textile fibers in a sustainable way at attractive cost levels. Stora Enso will join this partnership, and also support the industrialization of TreeToTextile’s production process by setting up a demonstration plant at one of its Nordic facilities.
“At Stora Enso, we believe that anything made from fossil-based materials today can be made from a tree tomorrow. Our work in the Biomaterials division strives to make this a reality as soon as possible”. To say it – in this exclusive interview with Il Bioeconomista – is Markus Mannström, Executive VP at Stora Enso Biomaterials Division. The Nordic company is one of the main players of the bioeconomy at global bioeconomy. With Markus Mannström we talk about what Stora Enso is doing in the field, the role of pulp and paper industry and his expectations related to the announced new EU bioeconomy strategy.
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso
Bio-lutions, Paptic and Phytowelt GreenTechnologies. The Innovation Award “Bio-based Material of the Year 2017” was awarded to these three innovative companies for their materials in specific applications. The competition focused on new developments in the bio-based economy, which have had (or will have) a market launch in 2016 or 2017. The winners were elected by the participants of the 10th International Conference on Bio-based Materials in Cologne, Germany.
Renewable materials company Stora Enso and specialty chemicals company Rennovia have announced a joint development and license agreement to cooperate on bio-based chemicals development.
Stora Enso, the Northern European leading provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wood and paper on global markets, is investing a total of approximately 63 million euro to further improve competitiveness in strategic growth areas in China and Sweden in the Consumer Board and Biomaterials divisions. The Nordic company will invest 31 million euro in a new polyethylene (PE) coating line in the new consumer board mill in Beihai, China. The Beihai Mill is expected to be in operation during the second quarter of 2016, as communicated earlier. The investment will enhance Stora Enso’s strategy for profitable growth and supports competitiveness by enabling short lead-times and full quality control for PE-coated prime Food Service Board (FSB). The investment is expected to be completed in mid-2017.
Kuraray expands into bio-based barrier materials through the acquisition of Plantic.
The Japanese chemical company was the first to commercialize the high-performance barrier resin, EVAL (ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer), which it launched in 1972. EVAL boasts the highest level of gas barrier properties of all plastics and is the market leading barrier resin used in food packaging and industrial barrier applications. In addition Kuraray has developed and launched KURARISTER a transparent barrier film for retort applications.
Stora Enso, the Finnish pulp and paper manufacturer, will concentrate its new biomaterials business development in an Innovation Centre that will be located in the Stockholm area in Sweden. The centre, which will open during the second quarter of 2015, will host research, application, business development, and strategic marketing. The centre will boost innovation by identifying business opportunities in the renewable materials market and linking them with leading innovation and research centres in business and academia. It will be staffed with Stora Enso employees currently working in Sweden, Finland and Germany. It will initially employ a little less than 60 people and is estimated to employ around 75 people by year end 2015. Stora Enso’s other R&D units are not affected by this change and will remain in their current locations.
The European Union will need a new political framework for rolling out its bio-based economy by 2020 at the latest. The existing framework does not create sufficient market pull for implementing innovative, bio-based technologies. To say it are Michael Carus, Lara Dammer and Roland Essel in the latest policy paper of nova-Institute “Options for Designing a New Political Framework of the European Bio-based Economy – nova-Institute’s contribution to the current debate”.