The 3 winners of the innovation award “Cellulose Fibre Innovation of the Year 2021” have been chosen by the 190 participants of the 2nd International Conference on Cellulose Fibres (CCF) which took place from February 2-3, 2021.
The award was granted for the first time ever, organized by the nova-Institute GmbH, Hürth/Germany, and sponsored by Levaco Chemicals, Leverkusen/Germany. The awards were presented as follows:
- 1st place went to Stora Enso (Sweden) for Cellulose Foam by Stora Enso – a lightweight cellulose foam for packaging. It is designed as an eco-friendly alternative for fossil-based packaging and cushioning materials such as expanded polystyrene or polyethylene. The foam has comparable shock-absorbing and insulating properties whilst being bio-based, biodegradable, compostable and recyclable in ordinary paper recycling.
- 2nd place was presented to Kelheim Fibres (Germany) for fiber solutions for plastic-free absorbent hygiene products. The company developed plant-based fiber solutions for absorbent hygiene products (AHP). These comprise specialty fibers for the single layers of AHP with different functionalities: a hydrophobized fiber for the top-sheet, a trilobal fiber for the acquisition/distribution layer and a hollow fiber for the absorbent core. These biodegradable and sustainably manufactured fibers enable the replacement of synthetic fibers without a loss of performance. The material has the potential to be used also for the production of textiles, such as reusable menstrual underwear.
- 3rd place went to Metsä Spring (Finland) for a textile fiber based on paper-grade pulp. A new, energy-efficient process was developed to produce high-quality cellulose fibers for the textile sector, based on a new solvent family. Using ionic liquids, cellulose fibers can be produced from paper-grade pulp, avoiding the use of energy-intensive dissolving pulp, which is promising in terms of ecological and economic advantages. This allows to tap into further markets for sustainable textiles.