Sunday, March 30, 2008

Chempolis Oy Biofuel from non-wood raw materials

Chempolis Oy has developed groundbreaking new technology for using non-wood raw materials in pulping and papermaking, enabling high-quality pulp and paper to be produced from agricultural residues, such as straw and bagasse, or from other cultivated or natural raw materials, such as reeds.

The company is located in Oulu. I've read about the UPM plan to build a pilot plant in China. Is that in cooperation with Chempolis? I guess so. Andritz Ag is also one of the UPM partners in the fields of Biofuel.

Biofuel , generated as a pulping by-product, provides all the energy needed in the process. The process also produces fertilizers as a by-product. High environmental standards, as well as good profitability, were given priority in the design of the process.

This message is from 2001. What has happened since? Let's take a look at the "Cehmpolis in Brief":

Chempolis Ltd is a leading-edge company in the development and delivery of environmentally sustainable biorefining technologies and production solutions for industrial utilization of non-wood and non-food feedstocks. These materials include straws, grasses, bagasse, energy crops, bast and leaf fibers, among many other biomass resources.

The company has been around since 1995. Recent news In English:

Since its establishment in 1995, Chempolis has been strongly focused on developing proprietary production technologies. Chempolis has been granted more than 60 patents, and the key features of the technology have been recognised both domestically and internationally. Selected milestones in the Chempolis's history include the following:

  • 1996 - demonstration of the technology on a pilot scale
  • 1997 - the University of Oulu granted the Pentti Kaitera award to CEO Esa Rousu for the development of environmentally sustainable pulping technology
  • 1997 - successful paper machine trials at world-record speed with a non-wood-based furnish
  • 1999 - directed issue to venture capitalist Teknoventure
  • 2001 - directed issue to venture capitalist Sitra
  • 2005 - 50th granted patent
  • 2006 - exit of venture capitalists
  • 2006 - in a study by IFC (a private sector arm of the World Bank), Chempolis's technology was evaluated as the most economical and environmentally sustainable non-wood pulping technology
  • 2007- in a study by the Department of Energy of the USA, Chempolis's technology was evaluated as the most energy-efficient pulping technology (including modern wood pulping technologies)
Wood continues to be the main resource in pulping and papermaking worldwide. In the near future, however, non-wood fiber such as straw, reeds, and bagasse are likely to emerge as an increasingly economical, environmentally friendly, and ethically acceptable resource solution.

Although there are considerable benefits in using non-wood materials in pulping and papermaking, there have been three main concerns.

  1. High ash content and silicon in particular, has been an issue
  2. The high proportion of hemicellulose present has also been considered a disadvantage,
  3. as has the low bulk density of these materials
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