CH-Bioforce Oy has developed internationally ground-breaking technology for biomass fractionation. This innovation from Finland raises material efficiency from less than 50% to over 90% and is suitable for multiple applications. Keep reading to find out how they do it, and what their plans are!
Finland is known for its sustainable innovations and especially start-ups that have sustainability as a core. High-quality, sustainable solutions are becoming more in demand in the market, as the pressure for environmentally friendly solutions increases.
The founders and team of CH-Bioforce have extensive knowledge of biomass. The breakthrough for the technology came in 2016 when the founders discovered how to extract the main components of biomass; lignin, hemicellulose and pulp in one process and in a way, that maintains high quality and purity. Other known technologies have not been able to do this, which increases the material efficiency achieved from less than 50% to over 90%. This is a significant efficiency increase in the industry, and it will be even more significant when the technology is scaled up globally. The company started from wood biomass, but soon they discovered that their technology would work with other renewable raw materials and non-wood biomass, such as straw or bagasse. For the first time, almost all valuable raw material can be utilised to its full potential.
New life to waste material
Nearly all industries produce side or waste streams. These can be raw materials, energy and chemicals that go to waste after manufacturing processes. A sustainable circular economy needs efficient utilisation of industry side streams and the development of scalable innovations that can turn fractions previously classified as waste into value-adding products. Using waste material reduces not only the need for new virgin materials, but at the same time gives new life to waste. The future is bright for companies, such as CH-Bioforce, that can provide convincing alternatives in large enough quantities.
CH-Bioforce has already tested and piloted several products made from the biomass together with brand owners. Just recently, the world’s biggest brewing company, AB InBev, manufacturer of brands like Budweiser, Beck’s and Corona, chose CH-Bioforce for the company’s global start-up accelerator programme 100+ Accelerator.
“In 100+Accelerator, we fractionate the barley straw delivered by AB InBev and work with our partners to make high-quality textiles. The end product could be a T-shirt, towel or a shopping bag. We are looking forward to exploring these opportunities further. Our technology is already in place and fully functional. In the long run, we can help AB InBev extract more value from their current residues and become a zero-waste Company”, says Sebastian von Schoultz, co-founder of CH-Bioforce in the company’s press release on the matter.
The brewing process produces other biomass waste streams in addition to straw, such as brewer’s spent grain (in Finnish mäski). These can be used to produce high-quality biopolymers, which can then be used in the production of plastics, cosmetics or even food additives. CH-Bioforce’s technology offers a solution for multiple industries such as textile, chemical and packaging industries to transform biomass into high-value products. Many of the materials used in these industries are now derived from fossil-based petroleum.
The company has great plans for 2020 and beyond. The ambition is to go global and the technology is there and ready. The next major step will be to scale the technology up to industrial scale.
“Our innovation can transform current waste streams into high-value and completely bio-based materials. In the coming years, we can provide multiple industries a sustainable and ethical feedstock option, all over the world”, concludes Mr von Schoultz.
Text: Marjaana Kymäläinen
Go to check CH-Bioforce website: https://www.ch-bioforce.com/
More information on AB InBev +100 Accelerator: https://100accelerator.com/