Our company is going beyond pulp and paper to provide novel products for new markets.
Thanks to our global operations, we have access to a large amount of renewable raw materials, which puts us in a strong position. We are aiming to produce second-generation biochemicals and biomaterials through our sustainable extraction processes and continue to research how to use different biomass fractions to create new chemicals and applications.
Our Innovation and Marketing teams are working together with partners on technology development and the commercialisation of lignin, byproducts and other bio-based chemicals.
At Stora Enso, we do not restrict innovation to one department. We believe that transforming our company and industry requires a combined effort. From research centres to mills, all our employees are encouraged to promote their ideas and feel empowered to take an active role in our transformation.
Integrating biorefinery technology into pulp mills is an important step forward, but it must be done carefully so as not to sacrifice the quality of the cellulose. Sites should also be close to the raw material source, otherwise logistical problems will be encountered.
This is why we are building a demonstration plant in Louisiana, close to bagasse piles and a sugar mill, as this reduces the need for additional infrastructure for leveraging existing facilities.
Creating small, flexible biorefineries which use biomass at a local level will reduce energy and materials imports and help create jobs in farming communities.
Pulp mills could be seen as a type of biorefinery, as wood is separated into components like cellulose, lignin and hemicellulose. Traditionally, their focus has been to produce pulp, not to extract lignin or hemicellulose which are separated and typically burned for energy. However, our Sunila mill is now extracting, drying and commercialising lignin since 2015.