The Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland join forces in VTT Bioruukki in Espoo. Luke has installed its pilot equipment in the Bioruukki biomass centre to refine biomass and by-products from forestry and agriculture into new types of high added value products, such as biodegradable materials, cosmetics and food components.
The aim of the five-year partnership agreement is to support the circular bioeconomy by developing sustainable and eco-efficient solutions for the entire value chain of biomass, ranging from the production of biomass to its procurement, processing, refinery and consumption.
Above all, this partnership benefits companies.
“In Bioruukki, companies have access to the extensive competence and expertise of Luke and VTT in the entire production and operating chain”, says director Leena Paavilainen from Luke.
In Bioruukki, companies can carry out product development, without needing to build their own pilot plants. The aim is to offer cost- and resource-efficient services and equipment environments for the R&D activities of companies. In addition, Bioruukki offers various analytics and fractionation technologies.
Luke has installed a pilot-sized hot water extraction system and an extraction system that uses supercritical carbon dioxide. These only use water, carbon dioxide, heat and pressure to fractionate biomass. Renewable biomass provides compounds to replace fossil raw materials and synthetic chemicals. The systems can separatethe most bioactive and efficient compounds from biomass in a sustainable way. Pilots and demonstrations are supported by Luke’s laboratory experiments and diverse analytics aimed to study various fractions. Luke’s food study and test facility and systems in Jokioinen enable the further processing of fractions.
Bioruukki is the largest research environment for the bioeconomy in the Nordic countries and one of VTT’s most significant investments in recent years. The laboratory and piloting facilities of roughly 2,000 m2 in the new biomass centre have mainly been designed for processing forest-based biomass and for producing special pulp.
Luke and VTT are actively looking for business partners to create new bioeconomy products.