Wood to biochemicals pilot project launched
FPInnovations and Resolute Forest Products have announced a significant investment in the implementation of a TMP-Bio pilot project in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. The project will focus on developing new ways to efficiently produce and commercialise innovative biochemicals derived from wood.
Resolute, the Ontario Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio- Economy (CRIBE), is contributing C$3.5 million and will host the pilot project at its Thunder Bay pulp and paper mill.
Stephane Renou, president and CEO of FPInnovations, told tbnewswatch that the TMP-Bio refinery process breaks down wood into elemental chemicals such as basic sugar and lignin.
“From there we can take those chemicals and put it back into the supply chain and reconstruct other products, [such as] plastic, flocculant – the entire area of chemicals you see from the petroleum industry we can construct from wood,” he added.
The process has already been demonstrated at the lab level, but the pilot project will scale this up.
Remi Lalonde, general manager of the Resolute Thunder Bay Pulp and Paper Mill, said: “At this point, a commercial application for this technology is still probably several years away ... We have newsprint mills all over North America that we are not using. If we can find a commercial way, we might be able to put these to good use.”