Circular cellulose to textile fiber production
|Coordinator||Chalmers Tekniska Högskola AB - Chalmers Tekniska Högskola Inst f Kemi- & kemiteknik|
|Funding from Vinnova||SEK 2 260 000|
|Project duration||August 2021 - October 2023|
|Venture||The strategic innovation programme Bioinnovation|
|Call||PhD and post-doc projects for resource-smart industrial processes within BioInnovation|
Purpose and goal
The purpose was to enable a circular and resource-efficient cellulose economy in Sweden. Oat husk, wheat straw, cotton, and viscose, were identified as having potential market, and were processed for extraction of cellulose and converted into a dissolving pulp. Highest market potential can be seen in the oat husk track, where the logistics already exists, the volumes are rather high (40 000 tons/year in the southern Sweden), and no higher value than biogas are seen today. The project has supervised 6 diploma workers, and generated 3 manuscripts, to be published in scientific journals.
Expected results and effects
The conclusions from this project points at the opportunities (incl. relevance of scaling up processes and market potential) by cellulose residues. It was shown that pulps with good properties can be extracted from wheat straw and oat husk, where high potential can be shows. The technoeconomic and environmental analysis identified hot spots in the process for further optimization. Results were presented on multiple occasions to various audiences, and it is expected that it may increase the interest in the more resource efficient utilization of those streams.
Planned approach and implementation
The project was designed for a 2 year work and based on 7 smaller work packages to achieve the purpose and goals. The main focus was to develop and optimize the extraction of cellulose from selected cellulose-rich residues to validate the most resource-efficient extraction processes, based on material properties, material yield, and chemical and energy demand. As the research was of applied character and involved both industry and academia some modifications to the project plan were applied with the approval of the steering group.