Researchers are in a quest for finding solutions to food and feed industries.
Everything we do here at the laboratory, aims at saving the world, says director of the FiberLaboratory Tapio Tirri.
Makron ja Fiberlaboratory, productive collaboration since 2005. Read more
Developing future bioproduct processes
The FiberLaboratory is South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences bioproduct technology innovation centre located in Savonlinna. The laboratory develops technology and innovations for the processing and forestry industry, as well as for chemical, measurement, control and automation system manufacturers. The FiberLaboratory conducts research and development of an international standard and educates bioproduct technology engineers.
Our goal is that results and new solutions underpin the competitiveness of companies in the South Savo region. The FiberLaboratory offers an extensive range of services that are tailored to customer requirements. Annual level of turnover is approximately 1,5-2 million euros. These include expert services, as well as test-run and laboratory services.
The main issues in cooperation with companies are:
- Technology development of big scale industrial forest based bio refinery processes
- Research activities focusing on rapid mixing phenomena boosting the efficiency of industrial processes
- Practical equipment testing
- Development work of production and applications of Micro Crystallized Cellulose.
In our cooperation network we have about 100 companies from all over Finland.
Among research centers the most important are:
- VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd
- Natural Resources Institute Finland Luke
- Aalto University
The FiberLaboratory has fiber, water and wastewater laboratories, piloting equipment up to industrial scale and portable piloting equipment for factory tests. The total floor area of the FiberLaboratory is now approximately 1600 m2. From that area fiber, water and wastewater laboratories takes approximately 160 m2 and the piloting facilities have a total floor area of approximately 680 m2.
The FiberLaboratory belongs to Forest, the Environment and Energy focus area of South-Eastern Finland University of Applies Sciences.
Services for companies and partners
We conduct comprehensive technological mapping for customers. This may take place at a customer’s factory in which we inspect the operations of process equipment and have samples taken for laboratory analysis.
We report the results and suggestions of improvements, taking into account the cost-efficiency of the process.
Services can be selected from rental premises to full-service test-run packages, including the following:
• Problem characterisation
• Planning test-run arrangements
• Installing equipment in the test-run hall and building test loops
• Performing test runs, collecting masses from the factory and other preparations for test runs
• Laboratory analysis
The core of the FiberLaboratory is the pilot hall, where pilot and factory-scale test runs can be conducted using wet pulp mass, water and/or other test materials. The key idea is, that the customer’s equipment is brought to the test run hall for testing and it is attached to circulation equipment – also known as loops – to enable a test run to be completed.
The process of the test run hall consists of various loops. Two largest of these are the medium consistency (MC) and low consistency (LC) loops. The loop contains a pump that enables the biomass to circulate through the pipes and the testing equipment back into the tank, from where it can then be recirculated by the pump.
Examples of piloting:
• Mixing tests
• Product development and characterisation
• Manufacturing biomass and further studies
• Testing measurement and regulation systems
• Long-term testing of maintenance
Environmentally friendly method for capturing and storing carbon dioxide
The method separates carbon dioxide from flue gases using water, and there is no need to use environmentally harmful chemicals. The method is based on dissolving carbon dioxide gas in water and recovering the gas from the water. The amine method of carbon capture is widely used around the world, but this entails environmental and health risks due to the chemicals involved. In contrast, the use of water-based storage is chemical-free and environmentally friendly. The various phases in the process exploit changes in pressure, temperature, and liquid and gas flow rates. The method is competitive in terms of energy consumption and achieves a good level of carbon dioxide capture.
The FiberLaboratory offers an extensive range of research and development services to industry
The FiberLaboratory is an innovative, networked operating environment for developing future bioproduct processes, implementing new ideas, solving process technology problems and testing industrial maintenance.
The projects support the competitiveness of companies by developing technology that for example reduces energy, water and carbon dioxide emissions.
Growth into a bioproduct technology centre
The Savonlinna FiberLaboratory began operating in 2005. At that stage, a pulp and environmental technology research group from Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences, nowadays South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, was working in the regional paper technology unit of the Lappeenranta University of Technology. In 2011, the FiberLaboratory was transferred to University of Applied Sciences in its entirety.
Since the beginning, the FiberLaboratory has offered testing and analysis services for suppliers of equipment and chemicals in the sector, and for the forestry industry. It has also accumulated expertise in the area as a result of its research projects.
Today, the laboratory’s services also cover water and sludge research. Doctoral theses and patents demonstrate the laboratory’s international expertise. The FiberLaboratory’s activities have also expanded into education in bioproduct technology, which creates expertise for future bioproduct processes.