Feb. 12, 2021 - Stora Enso announced that its cellulose foam won "Cellulose Fibre Innovation of the Year 2021" in an award ceremony organized during the 2nd International Conference on Cellulose Fibres (2-3 February 2021). Cellulose foam was among six nominees up for the award — all recognized for the development of new technologies and applications in the cellulose fibre industry.
Conference organizer, nova-Institute (Hürth, Germany) said in a press release, "As a result of growing environmental awareness, approaching plastic bans for several single-use products and restrictions and labelling for products containing plastic fibres, the demand for cellulose-based solutions is growing. The growing demand, in turn, is leading to rapid technology development that is enabling material properties previously thought impossible for cellulose fibres. Cellulose is becoming a versatile miracle material!"
Stora Enso's cellulose foam is a lightweight wood fiber-based foam material for protective and cushioning material in packaging. This novel, sustainable foam material has been designed to be fully natural and the technology offers a biodegradable alternative to a wide range of products.
According to Stora Enso, the lightweight and shock absorbing properties make it an especially attractive alternative for protective packaging applications.
In this space, environmental concerns are currently driving regulatory efforts towards limiting, or banning, the use of traditional fossil-based foam materials, such as polyethylene (PE) foam and expanded polystyrene (EPS), commonly known as Styrofoam.
The environmentally friendly production process of cellulose foam results in a material that is renewable and that can be fully recycled with regular paper and board, Stora Enso explained.
Development work and scale-up around this technology is ongoing along with the building of a pilot facility at Stora Enso's Fors Mills in Sweden. The pilot plant, which will be part of Stora Enso's Biomaterials division, aims to evaluate and validate cellulose foam as a packaging foam in customer tests and to further develop the production process.
Stora Enso expects the plant to be ready in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Stora Enso's Fors Mill produces lightweight paperboards for consumer packaging. The integrated mill has the capacity to produce 410,000 tonnes per year of paperboard grades and 185,000 tonnes of chemi-thermo-mechanical pulp.
Part of the bioeconomy, Stora Enso is a leading global provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wooden constructions and paper. To learn more, please visit: www.storaenso.com.
SOURCE: Stora Enso and nova-Institute
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