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ECOFIPS: Ecological Fibres for Insulation, Pulp and Substrate

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ECOFIPS (ECOFIPS: Ecological Fibres for Insulation, Pulp and Substrate)

Reporting period: 2019-08-01 to 2019-11-30

The intensive use of the world's resources in the last decades puts pressure on the planet and threatens the security of supply. Moving to a biobased economy that reduces the use of materials based in geological and fossil resources is extremely urgent for a global population that is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050 and for people that, independently of their origin, aspire to a welfare and consumption level so far only possible in developed countries. While many alternative, renewable materials are emerging, concerns arise from their sustainability. Biobased materials used in the substrate, insulation and paper & cardboard industry have often a high carbon footprint due to their required level of processing or their geographical origin which involves long distance transport. Moreover, biobased materials from food crops pose certain ethical issues associated to global food price increases and food shortages.
During Phase 1 we have defined a detailed execution plan to: increase the capacity of NewFoss to process 25,000 tons of grass/year into 6,000 tones dry weight of NFF/year; convert a wider range of feedstock; and upgrade the process into a fully circular one. We have selected our target markets (substrate, insulation and paper & cardboard industries) and identified our main competitors. We have defined a solid expansion strategy, starting in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland (2022-23), expanding across Europe (2024-25), and consolidating the European market as well as jump into the international market (North America, China, Australia, Brazil, India, Indonesia) from 2026. We have confirmed the freedom to operate and ensure there are no regulatory issues for commercialization, and finally, we have selected interesting partners to assist us on the finding of biomass suppliers in target countries, and defined a dissemination strategy.
NewFoss has developed a patented biorefining process that converts 100% of biomass into ligno-cellulose fibre (NFF) to be used to make high value products such plant substrates, insulation panels and paper and cardboard. The process is energy/CO2 and water neutral and its side product, a mineral and organic rich liquid (NFL) can be used as a fertiliser and to feed the process energetically through a biogas cogeneration unit. Moreover, NewFoss uses 100% local biomass (grass or horticultural waste). By 2026, we expect €144 million revenues from NFF sales as well as from the sales and licensing of new plants.