Aalto University and Andritz to bring new AaltoCell technology to produce microcrystalline cellulose for global market

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Aalto University and Andritz to bring new AaltoCell technology to produce microcrystalline cellulose for global market

January 12, 2018 - 03:46
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ESPOO, Finland, Jan. 8, 2018 (Press Release) -AaltoCell technology allows ecological and fast production of microcrystalline cellulose (MCC).

Aalto University and ANDRITZ Oy have agreed on cooperation to commercialise AaltoCell technology for the global market. AaltoCell, a technology developed under the lead of professor Olli Dahl, allows high capacity production of MCC in pulp mills instead of small production units, using significantly smaller quantities of chemicals than before.

MCC is nearly 100% cellulose that is easily digestible for ruminants and offers a good source of energy. According to professor Dahl, its most promising volume markets can be found in the animal feed industry.

“Thanks to our technology, MCC can be produced ecologically and effectively for raw material of the feed industry. This saves arable land for cultivation, which is critical for the food production for the mankind.”

Multiannual research cooperation

In addition to commercialisation, the agreement includes multiannual research cooperation that aims to develop new bio products with high processing value using MCC produced with the AaltoCell technology. So far, high production costs have restricted the use of MCC but, in the future, new applications may be found in several fields of industry. In addition, the sugars generated in the manufacturing process can be used to produce bio-based chemicals, such as ethanol.

“ANDRITZ’s equipment and process portfolio offers good opportunities for new bio products, and the cooperation with the Aalto University is a significant step towards creating new, innovative bio products. We want to be involved in developing new wood-based, environmentally friendly bio products – to complement traditional bio products – which help our customers boost their business and gain commercial benefit,” says Kari Tuominen, President and CEO of ANDRITZ Oy.

 “Materials and sustainable use of natural resources are one of Aalto University's key areas in research, where bioeconomy plays a central role. In the field of bioeconomy, we want to be world leaders in teaching, research and creating innovations. We are very pleased with the agreement signed with ANDRITZ Oy. It allows us to bring the results of determined top research to the global market,” says Ilkka Niemelä, President of Aalto University.