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Montinutra nets €2M to convert forest waste into sustainable alternatives

Montinutra team
Picture credits: Montinutra

Finland-headquartered Montinutra has raised €2M in pre-Series A funding. The round was led by Metsä Spring, a corporate venture unit of Metsä Group, with a syndicate of private investors.

With the funding, Montinutra will accelerate its internationalisation, advance the designing and building of the industrial demo production plant, and bring new products to market under its Boreal Bioproducts® brand.

Converts forest waste into sustainable alternatives

Forest industry sidestreams such as sawdust, bark, or plywood processing residues are currently hugely undervalued as raw materials, and are often burned for heat and energy. Traditionally, the focus has been on the utilisation of cellulose from wood, but the possibility of utilising the rest of the wood has been limited.

Founded in 2018 and led by Jaakko Pajunen, Montinutra transforms the forest industry sidestreams into sustainable, high-value, and natural biochemicals that replace fossil alternatives in the chemical and cosmetics industries.

Montinutra enables the broader utilisation of hemicellulose and lignin extracts by developing biochemicals out of them. The multi-functional biochemicals can be used for products such as adhesives and personal care ingredients.

One of its ingredients is SpruceSugar™ derived from wood sugars. It is a 100% natural hemicellulose extract from sustainable spruce sawmilling side streams. It serves as a substitute for analogue chemicals and polysaccharides. With antioxidants and SPF-boosting capabilities, it can be used for various purposes in skin and hair care products.

Typical chemicals, such as styrene-butadiene or acrylics used in binder applications, have a fossil CO2 footprint of up to 5,600 kg CO2e / ton. With the respective footprint of Boreal Bioproducts® below 150 kg CO2e / ton, remarkable emission reductions can be achieved when introduced as raw materials to bio-based binders.

To set up new demo plant in Finland

Currently, Montinutra is planning and pre-engineering its first-of-a-kind demo plant at the site of Metsä Group’s sawmill in Vilppula, Finland. This plan will upcycle forest industry side stream.

Montinutra announced its partnership with Ole Hyvä Luonnontuote in a new personal care product range that contains Montinutra’s Boreal Bioproducts® SpruceSugar™ as an ingredient, produced at the current pilot plant in Turku, Finland.

The company aims to reach €100 million in annual revenue by 2035, with the demo plant up and running by 2026.

“Solutions that use natural resources responsibly and reduce carbon emissions are much needed, not just for reaching global emission reduction targets, but also for helping different industries in their transformations from fossil-based to bio-based materials. Montinutra helps their customers in this and aims to build a new industry in Finland that combines bio-economy, sidestreams, and added value,” said Katariina Kemppainen, SVP, Group R&D at Metsä Group.

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