Fortum and Spinnova Oy, a developer of sustainable textile fibre, have entered into a partnership to produce fibre from agro residues and woody biomass. The cooperation is another step towards Fortum’s strategy to build options for significant new businesses that improve resource efficiency and provide smart solutions for a cleaner world.
Fortum is currently evaluating different biomass fractionation technologies and has identified microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) as one potential intermediate product from the cellulose fraction. Spinnova’s technology, presently in the large industrial-scale piloting phase, turns MFC directly into fibre without any dissolving or harmful chemical processes. The process is closed and the resulting recyclable fibre is a more sustainable alternative to cotton and fossil-based raw materials used in various textile fibres and fabrics.
“Spinnova’s disruptive technology is unique in the world. We are delighted to be able to pilot it together using innovative raw materials, especially agro residues. In the bioeconomy, studying a wide range of material and process options is necessary in order to achieve optimal application qualities. Therefore working together with technology companies at an early phase is crucial,” says Heli Antila, Vice President, Biobased solutions at Fortum. “We want to engage key industry players to cooperate in the development and production of sustainable materials.”
The partnership with Spinnova is funded by a programme run by Business Finland, a public agency providing research funding to Finnish companies, to advance the bio and circular economy. The total value of the programme is 14.4 million euros. Fortum has received funding from the programme to develop value-added products from agro residues and woody biomass.
Spinnova is a Finnish sustainable fibre company that develops ecological breakthrough technology for manufacturing cellulose-based textile fibre. Spinnova’s patented technology includes 0% harmful chemicals and 0% waste or side streams, making the fibre and the production method the most sustainable in the world. Spinnova’s raw material commitment is to only use FSC certified wood or waste streams. Spinnova’s objective is to globally commercialize the fibre products in collaboration with major textile brands.