Implemented project

ValChem

– implement raw materials and technology base for the next generation of chemicals and materials

Fast facts

Project name

Valchem value added chemical building blocks and lignin from wood

Status

Completed project 2015 - 2019

Programme

European Union’s Horizon 2020

Develop and demonstrate the opportunities with wood as the raw material

The ValChem project has aimed at demonstrating a new and sustainable value chain for how green chemical products such as monopropylene glycol, bio-MPG, and lignin-based performance chemicals can be produced from wood-based raw materials.

The use of renewable resources in the production of chemicals is particularly desirable in terms of sustainability. It is also likely that this can create many societal benefits such as the reestablishment of life in the countryside. These drivers are becoming increasingly recognised, especially by brand owners, and this is creating a growing market for green products. At the same time, biorefining and biochemical processes are becoming increasingly cost-effective. Chemicals produced from biomass are thus considered to be a major growth area.

Demonstration Activities

In this context, UPM, SEKAB, METabolical EXplorer and Technische Universität Darmstadt have collaborated with their competences in the forestry, chemical and biotechnology industries.

– With these technologies, forest-based raw materials can replace fossil raw materials, and this is of course of huge benefit to both the environment and the climate. We at Sekab are very proud to have been selected to participate in this important project, says Marlene Mörtsell, Technology Manager at CelluAPP®.

The ValChem model includes the demonstration of an integrated and cost-effective biochemical process as well as marketing and product application testing for potential customers to validate the suitability and competitiveness of bio-MPG and lignin-based chemicals for downstream processes in terms of quality, performance and production costs.

Workflow

 

Background

ValChem was started in 2015 by the Finnish bio and forest industry company UPM. In addition to UPM and SEKAB, METabolic EXplorer and Technische Universität Darmstadt have participated in the project both of which are operational in the forestry, chemical and biotechnology industries. ValChem lays the foundation for the full-scale production of bio-based chemical products and is largely funded by Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking within the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020, grant agreement No 669065. All wood-based raw materials used in the ValChem project have been sustainably produced.

Sekab’s role in the project has been to demonstrate its CelluAPP® technology, which can be used to extract cellulose sugar and lignin from wood, straw and other cellulose-based biomass. The CelluAPP® technology was selected for the project based on its verified performance and capacity. SEKAB’s experience and expertise in biomass conversion was also a contributory factor.

Project results

The project has produced results in the form of, for example, the delivery of cellulose sugar from the biorefinery demonstration plant in Örnsköldsvik. During the autumn of 2016, Sekab produced and delivered over twenty metric ton of cellulose sugar. At the next stage of the process, the cellulose sugar was converted into monopropylene glycol (MPG), a base chemical for many chemical products, such as paints, resins, lacquers and hygiene articles. In the process, lignin was also recovered, which in turn can be used in the production of, for example, adhesives and bioplastics.

The project has included four partners from four different countries Finland, Sweden, France and Germany. UPM is the consortium leader and coordinator.

Read more about the project on the www.valchem.eu/project website

 

Quick facts

Project name

Valchem value added chemical building blocks and lignin from wood

Status

Completed project 2015 - 2019

Programme

European Union’s Horizon 2020

Marlene Mörtsell

Do you want to know more? Contact me!

Marlene Mörtsell marlene.moertsell@sekab.com 0660-794 75 070-615 50 71

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