The core of bioproduct mill consists of the world’s most efficient pulp mill. Besides the high quality pulp it is producing abroad range of other bioproducts. The share of bioproducts manufactured from
side streams represents 20 per cent of the mill’s net sales and continue to grow gradually.
Products that are already being manufactured at existing pulp mills are constituting the core of the product selection of the bioproduct mill:
- High-quality softwood and birch pulps to be used as raw materials for paper, tissue paper and paperboard.
- Tall oil and turpentine. Tall oil is used to produce glue, ink, paints and biofuels, among other products. Turpentine is used in the production of odorants and paints, for example.
- Bioenergy products, such as bioelectricity, process steam, district heat and bark-based solid fuel. District heat can be used by the town of Äänekoski, for example.
Bioproduct concept is progressing according the plan
Expanding the product range to completely new bioproducts is a central principle of the bioproduct mill. So far, the production of product gas, biogas and sulphuric acid have been started in the mill´s ecosystem.
- Bark-derived product gas is produced for the mill’s own use, whereby the mill is fully free of fossil fuels. The renewable product gas is replacing some 45,000 m3 of heavy fuel oil a year.
- Metsä Group has developed a concept in which the odorous gases of the bioproduct mill are
converted into sulphuric acid, to be used as a raw material by the mill. This represents a significant
step towards more closed chemical cycles.
- The biogas plantof EcoEnergy SF Oy is the first in the world to make use of the sludge generated in pulp production. The plant produces biopellets and approximately 20 GWh of biogas a year,
which is equal to the annual fuel consumption of roughly 1,800 passenger cars.
Aqvacomp Oy is producing biocomposite as a substitute for plastic, which combines pulp fibre
and plastic. It can be used in the electronics and automobile industries. The first plant is integrated
to Metsä Group’s Rauma pulp mill. Aqvacomp is exploring the possibility to build a bigger plant in Äänekoski.
Metsä Group has established a new innovation company, Metsä Spring Ltd. The company will, together
with partner organisations, invest in new endeavours with the target to identify and develop new business opportunities in sustainable forest-based bioeconomy and circular economy. The first concept to be included into Metsä Spring’s portfolio is the new textile fibre production method developed by Metsä Fibre. Now Metsä Spring is planning a greenfield demo plant with the capacity of about 500 tonnes of staple fibre per year. The planning is based on the idea that the demo plant will be integrated to Metsä Group’s bioproduct mill in Äänekoski. The planning work is done by an international team and the investment decision is expected by the end of this year.
We are studying several processes and product paths and will implement them gradually.
Resource efficiency and renewable energy
The new bioproduct is using100 per cent of the raw materials and side streams to produce bioproducts and bioenergy. The bioproduct mill is not using any fossil fuels whatsoever. All of the energy needed by the mill will be produced from wood. The bioproduct mill is the most energy-efficient pulp mill in the world, as its equipment solutions are based on highly advanced energy technology.
The bioproduct mill is helping Finland achieve its renewable energy targets.The mill is producing 1.8 TWh of electricity per year, which represents 2.5 per cent of all electricity production in Finland. Itis increasing the share of renewable energy in Finland by more than 2 percentage points.
Total energy production at the mill:
- Electricity self-sufficiency: 240%
- Total electricity production: 1,800 GWh per year
- District heat and steam: 640 GWh per year
- Solid fuels, or wood energy, for sale: 550 GWh per year (around 750 GWh per year of the energy created by bark generated at the bioproduct mill is used to produce product gas at the mill)
Unique bioeconomy ecosystem
Business model of bioproduct mill is based on an efficient partner network, in which new products are upgraded in cooperation with various players. Businesses of various sizes and in various stages of development that specialise in biomaterials and bioenergy, for example, are invited to join the ecosystem.
The ecosystem created by the bioproduct mill is unique in the world.
- It is generating extensive value chains.
- The inclusion of new processes in the bioproduct mill is creating synergy benefits for the entire system.
- The bioproduct mill is cooperating closely with the town of Äänekoski in district heat production, for example.
- It also offers significant opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises to manufacture innovative, high-added-value bioproducts.