BNC 1 250 pxIn a joint research project Umeå University and Processum will develop methods for production of bacterial nanocellulose (BNC) from residual streams from the pulp and paper industry. The aim is to produce sufficient quantities of bacterial nanocellulose to be tested as additive in board, textile and bioplastics applications. Collaboration with companies from the paper and pulp industry as well as companies on the application side is thus welcome.

Different types of nanocellulose can give new and improved characteristics to a number of different materials. So far, research as well as most demonstration and production efforts have primarily been focused on cellulose nanofibers (CNF), and cellulose nanocrystals, (CNC). In this project researchers from Umeå University and Processum will develop and scale up a method for production of BNC. As the name says, the nanocellulose is produced by bacteria.

"At Umeå University our research group has already been able to produce bacterial nanocellulose in laboratory scale based on a residual stream from a pulp mill", says Professor Leif Jönsson who is in charge of the research group. "We have produced small amounts of BNC which we have added to paper with promising results. The paper got improved mechanical characteristics, i.e. higher tensile and tear index. Nanocellulose produced with the aid of bacteria differs from CNF and CNC. It is purer, has a higher degree of polymerisation, is more crystalline and thinner."

BNC"The way to produce bacterial nanocellulose today is expensive as the methods are inefficient and the growth medium is expensive", says Björn Alriksson, Head of Group -Biotechnology at Processum. "This is why we will use low-value residual streams from pulp mills as substrate and the production will be carried out in stirred bioreactors to try to improve the production. In this project we will scale up the process starting in our laboratory scale multibioreactors, then continue with experiments in our 50 litre bioreactor and finally we will produce BNC in a 600 litre reactor. "

The BNC will then be tested in applications such as strength enhancer in board, textiles and plastics. The goal is to produce BNC from industrial residual streams for applications where relatively high volumes of BNC are needed.

"Nanocellulose research has for years been a strong area within RISE. The cooperation between Processum and Umeå University really complements the research activities done on MFC/NFC and CNC," says Pernilla Walkenström, acting Division Manager RISE Bioeconomy.

"BNC is a very interesting product which can give improved characteristics to existing materials and can also be used for production of entirely new bio-based materials", say Leif Jönsson and Björn Alriksson. "At the end of the project we will hopefully have enough BNC for realistic application tests. This means that we are open to national as well as international cooperation in different fields for a joint development of interesting applications.

For more information, please contact:

Leif Jönsson, Professor, Department of Chemistry, Umeå University

Telephone +46 90 786 68 11, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Björn Alriksson, Head of Group- Biotechnology, Processum

Telephone +46 10 516 67 53, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Omslag 250 px"We begin 2018 with great enthusiasm and will continue to develop our role as the creative hub of our world-leading cluster," Magnus Hallberg, MD Processum, writes in Processum’s Activity Report 2017. The Report is now available printed as well as in pdf format. 2017 was an eventful year with the BioBusiness Arena merger, ten new employees, a PPI Award 2017, the first Bioeconomy day ever and more. This is just to mention a few things which happened last year and the Activity Report covers this as well as much more.

The printed version can be ordered from info(at) or from anyone of the Processum staff.

Link to the downloadable pdf.

Link to the browsable pdf.

Exjobb HTC Carla 250 pxCarla Perez is doing her thesis at Processum studying how HTC technology can be used to upgrade biosludge from the pulp and paper industry for energy purposes. "I come from the Canary Islands where I studied chemical engineering for five years," says Carla Perez. "Thereafter I decided to go to Sweden to work and to study at KTH in Stockholm to get my Master. At KTH I have studied chemical engineering as well as taken courses in energy and environment."

"Through a friend I got to know about Processum so I checked the website and sent an application for a thesis work. Their response was positive so Gunnar Westin at Processum and I discussed possible topics ending up in the work I am doing now. During my studies at KTH I became interested in the pulp industry so I did the course Biofiber Chemistry led by Professor Monica Ek. One part of this course is the study visit to Örnsköldsvik including visits to Holmen, Domsjö Fabriker, Sekab, Processum and MoRe Research. A really interesting visit and I learned a lot!"

Processum have several equipment’s for HTC purposes in their pilot park which means that I can do all my test runs on site in their 280 ml reactor," Carla continuous. "In my thesis I will test two types of biosludge from biotreatment plants. The purpose is to find the optimal conditions to produce a dry biosludge aimed for burning. It also includes analyses of the remaining water and its properties. As a part of the thesis, samples will be sent to China for analysis as a part of an ongoing collaboration with University of Science & Technology Beijing."

"I find this thesis work very interesting as I come closer to the industry, which I like. It is a challenge as I learn a lot of new things. The thesis will result in new knowledge about HTC as a good way to make use of previously inaccessible resources from the pulp and paper industry."

Finally, what do you do when you are not studying or working?

"I like to go to the gym and to do other sport activities as well. In addition I am also very fond of cooking. So far I have not tested the famous "surströmming", which I heard a lot about, but I will before leaving Örnsköldsvik," Carla finalises.

Processum BBA 2 lgThrough the merger of Processum and BioBusiness Arena a regional cluster hub for forest research and innovation is established in the regions Västernorrland and Västerbotten in northern Sweden. As a subsidiary of RISE, Processum thus contributes to RISE being present in the Sundsvall region. At the inauguration ceremony ca. 100 representatives from industry, universities, institutes and public sector were present.

"During the last few years Processum has built a strong research and development environment in northern Sweden," says Magnus Hallberg, MD Processum. "BioBusiness Arena’s strength in commercialising and business renewal is a perfect complement to the Processum business and this is why we since quite some time have a close and fruitful cooperation. Now we take the next step by merging, thus creating a strong regional forest cluster hub, which also strengthens the cooperation with the regional incubator Bizmaker."

Processum BBA 1 lg"The coast along the northern part of Sweden is an internationally successful region within forest industry and biorefinery. As an important part of Sweden’s innovation system it is self-evident for us to have a strong presence here. We are established in several locations along the coast and see the potential in the new location in Sundsvall. We want to be the innovation partner, together working with development of Sweden on a regional, national and international level," says Birgitta Sundblad, Division Manager RISE Bioeconomy.

"Our region has incredible knowledge, competence and experience in the forest area and its different products and services," says Peder Björk, head of the Sundsvall municipality. "The fact that we now have an even stronger regional player within forest innovation and research makes it possible for our region to improve the position both nationally and internationally in the work towards a sustainable society."

The merger of Processum and BioBusiness Arena was celebrated at the grand inauguration in Sundsvall in the presence of ca. 100 representatives from industry, universities, institutes and public sector. During the inauguration ceremony representatives from Processum, Åkroken Science Park, RISE, Domsjö Fabriker, Mid Sweden University, Landstinget Västernorrland, Region Västernorrland as well as the Sundsvall, Örnsköldsvik and Umeå municipalities with supervision of governor Gunnar Holmberg together did a jig-saw puzzle, thus emphasizing the support of the merger.

Magnus julAt last we have a real winter with trees full of snow and great ski slopes already in December! The last mild winters have been a clear reminder that we need to make the change into a bioeconomy and we have to do it now. We can with pride look back on a year when we in our cluster together with our friends at the RISE Bioeconomy division have been working hard to create prerequisites for a change from fossil based raw material to a raw material found in the snow clad forests.

The pre-study Flagship Biorefinery showed promising results and good profitability for a large scale biorefinery based on the sulfite process. SEKAB’s technology platform CelluApp and BioEndev’s torrefaction technology are two other examples of mature biorefinery concepts developed in the cluster, both ready for industry scale production. If this will be happening in Sweden, however, the state has to contribute by creating the right prerequisites. In order to show the possibilities we have and also to identify the prerequisites needed, we together with the Örnsköldsvik municipality, North Sweden Clean Tech, the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, Swedish Forest Industries Federation and IKEM arranged Sweden’s first bioeconomy parliament here in Örnsköldsvik. And what a success that was!

But what I am most proud of at the end of this year are the new stars we have at Processum. This year we have welcomed ten new fantastic colleagues and two super trainees. Carolina, Anders, Anneli, Oskar, Roger, Thomas, Hanna, Mai, Emil, Emma, Bengt and Frida; I am really impressed by your energy and you have contributed with atmosphere as well as results here at Processum! And I am equally impressed by and grateful for how well the rest of the Processum team has received our new employees and given them possibilities to grow and learn.

The PPI Awards 2017 which Björn received in Brussels for our technology development work for production of protein for fish feed from forest industry residual streams also has a star quality. The fact that Processum was chosen as an Örnsköldsvik municipality Star Company 2017 also warms my heart. I would therefore like to send a big thank you to all our employees and bioeconomy friends in the cluster and at RISE.

I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a really Happy New Year!

Magnus Hallberg

CEO Processum

RISE Processum AB
Box 70, SE-891 22
Phone: +46 10-516 67 50
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.