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Second life of wood: BioFlex technology to dissolve waste wood to get raw materials

Project description

A new way to prevent wood waste from reaching landfills

Wood waste, contaminated and/or unwanted woody material, is an underutilised resource. The main components of wood (cellulose and lignin) can be isolated and used to create valuable materials. The EU-funded Bioflex project will divert wood waste from reaching landfills or incineration facilities and will prevent sawdust from going into fuel pellets. This will allow production of lignin and cellulose from these currently underused wood resources to enter new, emerging or existing value chains. The market is estimated to be EUR 40.9 billion for BioFlex-made cellulose and EUR 13.4 billion for wood waste recycling. The Bioflex process can be used with any kind of woody material and is compatible with metal and organic contaminants such as paint and preservatives.

Objective

We have developed the BioFlex solvent process that uses contaminated and/or unwanted waste wood as a very cheap raw-material to produce clean and high-quality inputs for the production of renewable chemicals, fuels and materials. A simple chemical process separates the main components of wood: cellulose and lignin. These can then be turned into final products such as bio-plastics, common chemicals and novel materials.
There are a variety of new value chains that are potentially created through our technology. For example, using the waste wood from a local council, cellulose can be isolated, which is hydrolysed, fermented to succinic acid and then used in paint. The lignin isolated alongside the cellulose can be turned into a drop-in biodiesel sold at the local petrol station. Similarly, sawdust from a timber mill can be fractionated, the cellulose used to produce methylcellulose as a thickener in food, the lignin turned into a bio-derived plastic.
We are diverting wood waste from going to landfill or incineration and sawdust going into pellets. The European pellets market is saturated, also with pellets imported from the Americas. The lignin and cellulose produced from these currently underused wood resources can enter new, emerging, or existing value chains.
Our competition on the waste wood disposal side is incineration, offering energy recovery in some cases but resulting in the formation of toxic ash and contributing to air pollution. For some heavily treated waste wood there are no competitors except for costly and highly undesirable landfilling which are largely viewed as problematic by both waste producers and waste managers.
The market is estimated to be EUR 40.9 billion for BioFlex made cellulose and EUR 13.4 billion of waste wood recycling. We have established a clear timeline for commercialization and signed a number of agreements with partners to make this plan feasible. We have an interdisciplinary and dedicated team to make Bioflex commercialized.

Keywords

Call for proposal

H2020-EIC-SMEInst-2018-2020

See other projects for this call

Sub call

H2020-EIC-SMEInst-2018-2020-3

Coordinator

Lixea OÜ
Net EU contribution
€ 1 837 500,00
Address
SAKALA TN 7-2
10141 Tallinn
Estonia

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SME

The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Yes
Region
Eesti Eesti Põhja-Eesti
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Links
Total cost
€ 3 797 203,75

Participants (2)