Nordic Bioproducts Group, a Finnish startup, has created a new vegetable textile fiber. The company is a spin-off from Aalto University in Finland, which created a patented technology called AaltoCell. The textile fiber made from plants is called Norratex. It is made without toxic chemicals or solvents.
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Nordic Bioproducts also announced the launch of a collaboration with leading pulp producer CMPC Ventures to create textiles from their pulp.
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“We are excited about this new collaboration,” said Bernardita Araya, Director of CMPC Ventures. “For CMPC, this represents an important step towards establishing a leadership role in developing the future of bio-industries with global impact.”
The market for man-made sustainable cellulosic plant textile fibers is expected to grow by more than 10% over the next decade. Many startups in this space are Finnish, including Aalto University’s Ioncell Fiber, Metsa Spring Oy’s Kuura Fiber, Spinnova Fiber Oy, and Infinited Fiber Company’s Infinna Fiber.
“Current methods have a detrimental impact on the environment,” Nordic Bioproducts Group said in a statement. “Resource-intensive cotton production is already at an extreme, and polyester, in turn, is a major source of microplastic emissions. And, the production of wood-based viscose fibers requires dissolution with poisonous carbon disulfide.
In the Nordic Bioproducts method, cellulose is hydrolyzed in an environmentally friendly and economical process. The fiber is then transformed into a textile fiber similar to viscose. The inventor of the AaltoCell method is Professor Olli Dahl from Aalto University.
Norratex textile creation uses a wide variety of raw materials. It opens up this technology to multiple sustainable sources of fabric. Fibers can be made from forest industry by-products, textile waste and paper pulp.
“This is a significant advantage over traditional viscose, which is made from dissolving pulp and can cost up to 30% more than paper pulp,” Nordic said. Bioproducts.
The Norratex method is also being explored for possible use in textile recycling. Most fast fashions use fiber blends that contain both natural fibers and plastic fibers, which makes recycling them difficult. AaltoCell technology offers a potential way to solve this problem by creating a new way to split fibers into natural and plastic components.
+ Nordic Bioproducts Group
Images via Photino Science, Pentti Pällijeff