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

PPI Awards Bjrn 250At the PPI Awards gala at the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels 29 November Björn Alriksson, Processum, received a statuette as proof of Processum winning in the category "The Innovation in Cellulosic Applications Award". Processum received this award for its work since many years to develop a technique for production of single cell protein made from forest industry residual streams to be used in fish feed.

PPI Awards is arranged by RISI and could be described as the Oscars for the forest industry. This prestigious competition is divided into ten categories out of which "The Innovation in Cellulosic Applications Award" was added this year. With this category RISI wants to highlight work going on to develop new use of cellulose close to the consumers as well as show the versatile possibilities offered by our forests. The fact that fish feed in the future might be a product produced at a biorefinery or pulp mill was apparently exciting so that the jury chose Processum as winner.

PPI Awards 2017 Winners 250"We find it amazing that we received a PPI Award for our long-standing research to develop methods for production of single cell protein from pulp mills’ residual streams," says Björn Alriksson, Group Manager Biotechnology, Processum. "It is an honour which we share with all involved parties in a number of projects which in different ways brought the idea to produce single cell protein for use in fish feed from laboratory scale to showing that it works in demonstration scale and will be a satisfactory fish feed."

"This protein has been used in fish feed which has been tested on living fish. The trials were very successful, showing that traditional fish feed, which e.g. consists of other fish taken from oceans with rapidly decreasing amounts of fish, can be replaced by fish feed based on single cell protein from the forest industry."

"At present we participate in four projects which are aimed to bring this technique even closer to large scale production. Salmonaid is a Swedish, ProffAqua and Bioraff Mer av trä two Nordic and Sylfeed a European project. An important part of Sylfeed is to build a demonstration plant with a capacity of 5 000 tonnes of forest biomass annually at Norske Skog Golbey."

"We are really pleased to see that what started as laboratory trials shortly will be present on dinner tables. That our work also has won the prestigious PPI Award, just as we already in 2014 won the EARTO Innovation Prize, is the icing on the cake," says Björn Alriksson.

Paperchain i MadridPaperchain is a project financed by the EU with the aim to upgrade side streams from the European pulp and paper industry to versatile goods for the building sector as well as the mining and chemistry industries. These four industries are all resource-intensive and a successful Paperchain may contribute to a reduction of the total need for resources for production of the same volume of end products.

"This is a major project with a total of twenty parties from five countries; Portugal, Spain, Slovenian, France and Sweden," says David Blomberg Saitton, Head of Group Chemistry, Processum, "as well as Boliden with which we for a number of years have been working together on projects. One additional member company participates in the group "Supporting partners", Ragn-Sells."

"Pulp and paper production needs a lot of resources, even if it is based on the renewable raw material forest. The processes involved lead to side streams such as e.g. green liquor sludge, ash and fibre sludge which can be reprocessed into material for the building sector and the mining and chemistry industries."

"Paperchain is divided into five subprojects, and Processum participates in two of those, Mining sector and Chemical sector. In the subproject Mining sector further trials and subsequent evaluation will be done as regards covering mining waste with a mixture of green liquor sludge and till. In the subproject Chemical sector ethyl chloride will be produced. Two types of fibre sludge are broken down with the aid of an enzyme cocktail to monomer sugars for fermentation and later distillation to pure ethanol. It is then chlorinated in a chemical synthesis to ethyl chloride which together with dissolving cellulose is raw material for production of the thickening agent Bermocoll, the goal with this subproject," says David.

The first General Assembly was recently held in Bilbao and the next will take place early summer 2018 in Örnsköldsvik.

Yue Dong defended her doctoral thesis at University of Oulu on Wednesday, November 8th. Her thesis is called is "Catalytic depolymerisation of lignocellulosic biomass into reducing sugars: Use of ionic liquids and acid-catalysed mechanical approach" and deals with the pretreatment of biomass to improve the energy creation possibilities. One part of her doctoral work was done within the Bioraff Botnia project.

Yue DongDong came to Finland from Shenyang, PR China, to study in Centria’s degree programme in Environmental Chemistry and Technology. After her graduation in 2009 she pursued her studies within a join a master’s degree programme, studying in Denmark, Germany and the UK. During her time in Denmark, she became familiar with research and development activities and wanted to take part in them. Comparing all the countries she has studied in, Dong quickly realized that she preferred the Finnish educational system, which allows more independence and a more experimental approach in research:

- I felt like teachers and research in Finland enabled us to find new ways, not pushing us too much in a certain direction, there is more freedom, Dong sums up.

Dong had a strong interested in dealing with biomass and she soon found a suitable topic, after discussing with Professors Dr Jana Holm and Dr Ulla Lassi, who have both been researching and working with the subject.

Finnish legislation concerning biomass is currently changing: companies can no longer get rid of their waste by burning it. Companies are keen on finding ways to make use of the biomass to create a money flow, rather than dumping it.  Pulp and paper mill industries in the Ostrobothnian area produce a lot of fibre sludge and they are interested in finding new ways of dealing with the residue. Creating biofuel is an excellent option to making use of biomass.

Dong’s focus has been working on improving the way biomass, or residue is pretreated in order to make the whole biofuel creation process more efficient. Her studies focus on combining the hydrolysis process into the pretreatment phase, meaning the sugars would start forming earlier thus creating a bigger amount of sugar, affecting the result of the process. This new process would save chemicals and time, therefore be economically more interesting for companies.

Dong hopes to pursue her research in the field as a process still lacks some finalizing. Part of her work took place within the BioRaff project. Centria’s R&D Chemistry and Bio-Economy team is actively working on different solutions to support companies in making the most of their waste and biomass.

Flagship Biorefine lgThe project "Flagship Biorefinery" has been carried out in order to investigate the prerequisites to realise a new, full scale biorefinery based on sustainable wood raw material from Swedish forests. Processum has been in charge of the project which has been supported by 13 companies representing a complete value chain from forest owners, forest industry to chemical industry as well as other stakeholders.

The consultants Pöyry have performed the assignment to carry out a feasibility study which has been presented to the project steering group. The steering group has found the results of the feasibility study very interesting. The results show e.g. that an investment in the proposed biorefinery can be profitable and provide positive contributions to a future bioeconomy.

"The report shows that the prerequisite for the project is good, which of course is very attractive even if many important issues must be resolved before the project can be realised. We sincerely believe that Flagship Biorefinery will be an important part of the future bioeconomy that so many are talking about," says Lars Winter, Vice Chairman Processum and MD Domsjö Fabriker.

"We experience a strong trend and political commitment for the transition from a fossil economy to a bioeconomy," says Jonas Joelsson, Research Manager Processum and project leader for Flagship Biorefinery. "The concept we have studied could become a part of this transition, and is well aligned with the priorities of the Swedish Government".

"The results presented by Pöyry suggest good prerequisites for a plant of this type," Jonas Joelsson continues. "However, one needs to be aware that the realisation of such a plant is a long process. The feasibility study was the first step, giving the basis for a decision to invest. It will be very interesting to follow the further development of this project in the future."

The next step is to appoint a project organisation with the special task to investigate how to safeguard sufficient supply of feedstock and how to finance the investment. It is estimated that this investigation will take up to three years and will be the basis for a decision whether to invest or not. A possible decision to go ahead with the project means that the start-up of this large scale biorefinery will take place 2023 at the earliest, provided that decision on location is taken and that environmental permits are granted.

For more information, please contact:

Jonas Joelsson, Research Manager Processum,

Tel. +46 (0)10 516 67 60, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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.