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Project

About the Sweetwoods

Creating the future for wood industry

Nine European companies have come together for the SWEETWOODS project to revolutionize the wood industry. Our goal is to reduce global dependence on fossil energy sources and change the understanding of wood processing.

Traditional wood industry is focused on a certain end product while using by-products for low value energy solutions. Our game-changing technology will convert over 90% of the hardwood into usable high-value biomaterials and bioproducts. This breakthrough enables us to produce a variety of products and establish novel bio-based value chains with low ecological footprint.

We believe that almost everything that is made from oil today could alternatively be made from wood in the future.

With the SWEETWOODS project, we are establishing a first-of-a-kind wood fractionation demo plant in Estonia that uses sustainable hardwood biomass as raw input material. We aim to demonstrate for the first time, on an industrial scale, how novel pre-treatment technology in combination with innovative enzymatic solutions will provide sugar recovery levels of over 90% and exceptionally high-quality lignin.

Over 90 % of the carbon content of wood can be further refined

Our objective is to implement pilot scale demonstrated technology at a full industrial scale in four years. We will create industry-changing new value chains, where wood as sustainable raw material plays a vital role.

How we do it?

SWEETWOODS flagship plant will use Sweetwater’s Sunburst pre-processing technology that fractionates biomass into biocomponents faster and more efficiently than any other technology available on the market. The result will be lower greenhouse gas emissions and decreased water and chemicals use. Essentially we aim to utilize almost entire wood mass in the production, making it a waste-free process.

Our novel flagship biorefinery concept can transform hardwood into innovative high value-added products. Such products include biocompounds for fuels, bioplastics, insulation materials, cushions, panels etc.

Biochemicals

Insulation foams

Lignin/sugars

Engineered foams

Biocomposites

Elastometric

SWEETWOODS impact

With the SWEETWOODS project we aim to change the way we think of wood industry.

We will show how to get more out of wood with less waste and little environmental impact.

5

new bio-based value chains

4

novel bio-based materials in the areas of insulation and elastomeric foams, injection molding, biofuels and biochemicals

80%

less waste from biorefining process over the current industrial state-of-the-art

Project goals

 

  • show the successful and profitable production – on an industrial scale – of high-purity lignin from hardwood
  • use all main components of the biomass feedstock while minimizing any diversion of carbon content streams to low-value uses
  • produce high-purity lignin for a range of novel applications, namely elastomer foams for tube insulation, rigid polyurethane foam panels for insulation and polymer compounds intended for injection molding
  • produce high-purity sugars – glucose, fructose, xylose and glucosone – for novel end-use cases, namely producing bio-IBN
  • establish markets for lignin and novel sugar-based platform chemicals

Project in numbers

43,2

Million € total budget

4

Years

9

Partners

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