Bio2X: high-value products from biomass
We are living in a world of alarming climate change and diminishing natural resources. In the future, using biomass in energy production will be minimized. Renewable energy is getting cheaper and abundant, but there will be an increasing scarcity of materials. In this transition, circularity and channeling biomass for high-value products is key.
What is Bio2X?
We at Fortum want to engage our customers and the society to join the change for a cleaner world and sustainable solutions. Fortum Bio2X is a development programme that aims to bring to market products made from biomass, especially straw, that can replace environmentally harmful materials in a number of applications. Straw is a residue from food production and offers great potential for efficient use of sustainable raw material that would otherwise be discarded or even burned.
We want to be one of the forerunners who enable more biomass-based applications. Our vision is to become the straw refiner with superior material efficiency and a leading supplier of responsible straw-based textile fibres.
More end products with superior material efficiency
In the future, our local biorefineries will enable a flexible use of locally available raw materials. Bio2X relies on fractionation technology that enables over 90 percent conversion efficiency from biomass into polymeric cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin fractions. All fractions can be applied in added value materials.
Sustainable use of raw material
In India, for example, straw is often burned in the fields which causes significant climate and health problems. Instead, straw could for instance be used in textiles to replace environmentally harmful cotton. If cotton fields are turned into wheat fields and 30 percent of the wheat straw is used for products, we could get an equal amount of textile fibres with less water usage while producing grain for food.
As a result, we would have more natural end products with less resource consumption and significantly smaller environmental impact. If all agri-biomass in the fields in the Delhi region’s three states could be used as raw material, we could replace over 50 percent of the global cotton production.
First step - a joint venture in India
In developing countries, agricultural waste is typically burned in the fields causing local pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Our aim is to transform this waste into valuable products, reduce pollution and increase welfare with our Bio2X ecosystems.
Biomass is a valuable raw material
All biomass has three main components: cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Each comes with a significant market potential to replace fossil-based raw materials and products. Cellulose brings strength to biomass, while hemicellulose provides flexibility and lignin is the adhesive that holds everything together.
Material-efficient and sustainable technology
We aim to fractionate lignocellulosic biomass in biorefineries to its main components: cellulose (pulp), purified hemicellulose and sulphur-free lignin. Our biorefinery concept is based on the formico® fractionation technology developed by Chempolis, Fortum’s interest company. The technology is at the core of Bio2X.
Deep collaboration with industry experts: the ExpandFibre ecosystem
ExpandFibre is a four-year (2020-2024) industrial development, R&D collaboration and Ecosystem project launched by Fortum and Metsä Group. With a budget of 50 million euros, it is co-funded by Business Finland. It focuses on upgrading pulp fibre, hemicellulose and lignin from renewable and sustainable sources of straw and northern wood into new bioproducts.
News and publications
Vice President, Biobased Solutions
heli [dot] antila [at] fortum [dot] com