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WOODCELL

WOOD RESIDUES DERIVED MICROCRYSTALLINE CELLULOSE FOR SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS

Project details

Type of project
Innovation Action – Flagship
Project focus
Bio-based chemicals
Feedstock origin
Forestry waste
Feedstock type
Lignin & wood residues
Project period
1 June 2024 - 31 May 2029
Status
In progress
CBE JU Contribution
€ 16 639 435,85
Call identifier
HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023

Summary

Finding viable alternatives to fossil-based materials in the chemical and material industries is challenging due to price limitations and the performance of available bio-based products. It is here that cellulose-based materials from woody biomass can make a difference, as they are one of the most promising pathways to replace global dependence on fossil-based chemicals, given their carbon neutral, sustainable, recyclable, and non-toxic characteristics.

Specialty cellulose materials have been used as strength additives and rheology modifiers in a range of products; however, the technological process is energy- and chemical-intensive.

WOODCELL aims to enable the production of micro-scale specialty Microcrystalline Cellulose (MCC) by building on Fibenol’s unique SWEETWOODS production. This process makes use of hardwood residues to produce lignin and wood sugars for novel functional bio-based primary raw materials to be used in the materials and chemical industry. 

To deploy an industrial bio-based system for the production of specialty cellulose at a large-scale, WOODCELL will:

  • Design, develop, and build an industrial-scale MCC production facility.
  • Develop user-defined and competitive circular bio-based products that meet consumer and market requirements, promoting industrial competitiveness, strategic autonomy, and resource independence of EU bio-based value chains.
  • Promote sustainability and circularity by conducting a systematic evaluation of the impacts that can emerge from products where MCC is incorporated.
  • Develop a replicable and competitive bio-based business model for WOODCELL in the forest-based sector.
  • Promote communication, dissemination, and exploitation activities to raise awareness of the WOODCELL solution. 

WOODCELL expects to:

  • Improve the circularity and resource efficiency of wood-based resources via practical applications.
  • Promote industrial competitiveness, strategic autonomy, and resource independence of the European bio-based value chains.
  • Reduce the dependency on imported feedstock and products.
  • Make available a wider range of circular bio-based products that meet market requirements.
  • Promote social acceptance of circular bio-based solutions and products.
  • Improve environmental sustainability across the value chain compared to fossil-based and/or bio-based benchmarks.
  • Create competitive, replicable, circular and inclusive regional or local bio-based business models in the forest-based sector and industry.
  • Create new skilled job opportunities and investments in the bio-based sector. 

Consortium map

Project coordination

  • FIBENOL OU Tallinn, Estonia

Consortium

  • RISE RESEARCH INSTITUTES OF SWEDEN AB Boras, Sweden
  • LUXEMBOURG INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY Esch Sur Alzette, Luxembourg
  • COATEX SAS Genay, France
  • SKELETON TECHNOLOGIES OY VANTAA, Finland
  • Foreko OÜ Tallinn, Estonia
Partners
  • ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FEDERALE DE LAUSANNE Lausanne, Switzerland
  • DS Smith Paper Limited London, United Kingdom
  • HAUTE ECOLE SPECIALISEE DE SUISSE OCCIDENTALE Delemont, Switzerland