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Wood composite set to eliminate CO2 emissions of the ceramics industry

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - WOODRY (Wood composite set to eliminate CO2 emissions of the ceramics industry)

Reporting period: 2021-03-01 to 2022-02-28

Energy intensive and high carbon footprint materials like ceramics, concrete, glass etc. are becoming expensive to manufacture and do not meet the requirements for the building materials in the future. Ceramic industry alone releases 500 million tons of CO2 annually, and is highly dependent on availability of cheap natural gas. Especially due recent geopolitical crisin the ceramic industry in Europe is struggling to keep production running.

Woodio Oy has developed the Worlds first wood based composite that can replace ceramics and stone materials in building industry. The newly developed material is superioir in terms of mechanical properties, and it´s manufacturing process does not use fossil fuel like natural gas. The overall carbon footprint of Woodio products is over 80 % smaller compared to it´s ceramic and stone counterparts.

From society point of view it is important to widen the range of available biobased materials. This will pave the way to completely biobased and circular economy, and help detachment from fossil fuels also in manufacturing.

The overall objective of WOODRY project and Woodio as a company, is to take our wood compostie technology to mass markets. In particular, the aim of WOODRY project is to design and sep-up commercial production for Woodio material and products.
During the first reporting period we have have been focusing on overall concept design of the automated factory. This work has been carried out with Woodio inhouse team and with external consultant company specialised in designing industrial production environments and technologies. The factory design has constitued majority of the project efforts. It has included simulations of the outputs and opexes with different concept approaches, tentative technical design of critical process phases as well as production site requirement and permit planning. As a result Woodio has 2 step concept for moving to new manufacturing environment, with increasing level of automation. Also the tentative site location, opex, capex and facility space requirements estimates are ready. The next steps in factory planning will the actual engineering and selection of process automation and other equipment to yield a full investment proposal ofthe next factory.

Additionally, Wooodio has been developing and testing raw materials to be used in the next generation manufacturing. Resin and wood are the primary raw material so initially the focus has been on these, with the intention to widen the range of raw material sources. While testing new resins and various wood grades in our production, we have made a discovery that by using biobased filler e.g. starch in our process, we can significantly lower the consumption of resin. And at the same time starch additives seems to improve mechanical properties of the Woodio composite. Since resin is the most expensive raw material in our production, replacing it with cheaper fillers is very beneficial for the COGS of the material.

In overall the project has progressed as planned and within budget, and all the deliverables set int the project plan will be met.
Woodio sanitaryware products have been overwhelmingly welcomed by the customers all over the World. In 2021 we sold Woodio sanitaryware products to 26 countries and we have won several design awards. This proves in part that there is a huge demand for new eco-materials in the World, and that Woodio can answer to the demands of the consumers. By the end of the project we estimate to have gained a market share and established Woodio in the Nordic markets.
Woodio products, washbasin and toilet