Estonia-based wood-based biochemical developer OÜ Graanul Biotech, a subsidiary of AS Graanul Invest, the world's third-largest wood pellet producer, has received funding as a consortium member of the EU co-funded VEHICLE project. It is the third EU co-funded project that the company is currently involved in.
Coordinated by Avantium Chemicals B.V., a subsidiary of Netherlands-based biochemical process developer Avantium N.V., the “Valorise Extensive quantities of HemIcellulosic and Cellulosic sugars from Lignocellulosic biomass into high-value End products” (VEHICLE) consortium is working on developing 100 percent plant-based chemicals produced from renewable raw materials.
During a four-year project, the VEHICLE project consortium aims to widen the business and market opportunities of existing and future biorefineries by demonstrating the applicability of their sugar streams in several downstream options.
The main goals for this project are to demonstrate valorization of dilute hemicellulose-rich pre-hydrolysate streams from pulp mills, which are currently waste streams with little value.
We are excited that industry is already having strong interest in our wood fractionation platform and we are considered as one of the most prospective supplier of high purity lignin and wood sugars, said Dr Peep Pitk, R&D Manager at Graanul Invest.
Third EU co-funded project
Graanul Biotech has previously received funding from the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) as lead partner in the SWEETWOODS project and as a consortium member in the REWOFUEL project funded by EU Horizon 2020 (H2020) research and innovation programme.
All those projects are developing and testing renewable raw materials for replacing fossil-based chemicals with more sustainable alternatives.
The total subsidy granted to the Industry Consortium “VEHICLE” from BBI JU under the H2020 research and innovation program is EUR 5.9 million.
VEHICLE consortium consists of several other leading companies across Europe: Avantium Chemicals BV (Netherlands), Ecohelix (Sweden), Metgen Oy (Finland), Novamont Spa (Italy), Spinverse (Finland), Kemira (Finland), Fundacio Universitaria Balmes (Spain), Graanul Biotech (Estonia).