A thousand litres of seawater can contain up to 8.3 million particles of microplastics. Until now, identifying these very small particles has been difficult – usually they are only detected once they have accumulated in the bodies of fish. A method developed at VTT utilises nanocellulose structures for early particle identification. Nanocellulose would allow particles to be captured even before they enter waterways. The properties of nanocellulose films and hydrogels support the identification and capture of very small microplastic particles.
Materials based on natural fibres are an interesting alternative to replace fossil-derived plastics. In the future, they may replace plastics in, for example, packaging, hygiene products, building materials and textiles. The Piloting Alternatives for Plastics project brings together a wide range of Finnish and international companies to take materials developed in laboratories towards more industrial production. The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, VTT and companies.
Cepi, the Confederation of European paper industries and its members across Europe, strongly support the initiative of Pascal Canfin, Chair of the Environment Committee at the European Parliament, to launch a European alliance for a Green Recovery. Cepi joins 180 political decision-makers, business leaders, trade unions, NGOs, and think tanks who have come together to create the alliance.
Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, has awarded AFRY the engineering services assignment for the new sawmill in Rauma as well as project management and engineering services assignment for the new bioproduct mill in Kemi. The key objectives of these investments are increased environmental efficiency and fossil free operations by utilising advanced technology and a high level of digitalisation. Metsä Fibre and AFRY started the pre-engineering of Metsä Fibre’s investments, totalling approximately EUR 2 billion, in the spring of 2019.
Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, has completed the first-phase preparatory work as part of the pre-engineering of the Kemi bioproduct mill in the Kemi mill area on schedule in January. The second phase will begin in early April. The purpose of the preparatory work is to enable the construction of the mill and a smooth start for the related earthworks. The investment decision will be made earliest at the autumn 2020, and the construction of the mill is expected to begin right after that.
Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, has made the decision to build the “world’s most modern sawmill” in Rauma. The value of the investment is approximately EUR 200 million. Construction will begin in the spring of 2020. Production at the sawmill is set to begin during the third quarter of 2022. The coronavirus outbreak may have an impact on the schedules. The pre-engineering phase of the Kemi bioproduct mill continues, and Metsä Group expects to be ready to make a decision on this approximately EUR 1.5 billion mill in the autumn of 2020.
Clariant’s Additives business and Floreon-Transforming Packaging Limited announce an exciting new collaboration to further extend the performance properties and market potential of biopolymers, whilst preserving their environmental benefits.
AR Packaging aims to be first on the market with commercially viable plastic free trays and cutlery for the food, on-the-go and food service sectors. The group looks to contribute to innovative process developments of fully fibre based solutions and therefore has joined the PulPac Technology Pool.
The spruce bark beetle has rampaged through the forests of southern Sweden, affecting many forest owners. In response, Holmen has developed an analytical tool, based on satellite images and artificial intelligence, showing actual damage on a map. Now, the forest company’s private wood suppliers can access one of these maps. A service that Holmen is “first to come up with”.
Valmet will supply a Defibrator™ system and a Steam Separator PV system to Qinzhou Lvyuan Wood Co., Ltd. in China. The start-up of the system is planned for spring 2020. The order was included in Valmet’s orders received of the fourth quarter 2019. The value of the order will not be disclosed. Qinzhou Lvyuan project is a new investment of Lvyuan Group to expand its production and diversify its product range. The project is located in Guangxi autonomous region. In recent years, Guangxi has actively developed the forestry industry, expanded the industrial chain and built industrial clusters.
Last week, the European Commission was hosting the “International Conference on Forests for Biodiversity and Climate” in Brussels to discuss pressures on EU forest ecosystems due to, among others, climate change as well as how to best protect forests and their biodiversity for a climate neutral and climate resilient land.
International technology group ANDRITZ has received an order from a Joint Venture between Toyo Engineering Corporation and Nippon Steel Engineering Co., Ltd., Japan, to deliver a PowerFluid circulating fluidized bed boiler with a flue gas cleaning system. The boiler will be part of a new biomass power plant to be built in Omaezaki in Shizuoka Prefecture, Honshu Island, some 200 km southwest of Tokyo, Japan, for the Omaezakikou Biomass Power Plant. Commercial operations are scheduled to begin in mid-2023.