- Biorefinery project
- KaiCell Fibers
- Wood supply
Demand for safe and environmentally friendly textile fibers is growing steadily. Total volume of the textile fiber market is already over 100 million tons. Arbron™ is an environmentally friendly textile fiber made of softwood pulp. KaiCell Fibers’ target is to set up the first Arbron™ facility in Paltamo, Finland. KaiCell Fibers has submitted an environmental permit application and is shifting to basic engineering.
The textile fiber market is dominated by oil-based synthetic fibers, such as polyester, with them having up 70% share of total textile fiber market. Synthetic fibers, like polyester, are non-renewable but also among the biggest sources of the prevalent microparticle problem. The second most common textile fiber, cotton, is associated with a number of problems such as high-water demand, use of plant pesticides and the fact that cotton farming competes with food production when it comes to finding suitable land areas.
Wood-based fibers are not unproblematic either. At present, most of the wood-based fibers are based on a 100-year-old viscose technology that uses highly toxic chemicals, the worst being carbon disulfide. Development has led to most of the world's wood-based textile fibers being made in China and elsewhere in Asia. However, now even China has woken up to environmental problems and viscose fiber is actively seeking alternatives.
Arbron™ material is based on technology developed in Finland. Arbron™ material can be used in viscose plants to avoid the use of toxic carbon disulfide, CS2.
"Demand for safe and environmentally friendly textile fibers is growing strongly" says Jukka Kantola, CEO of KaiCell Fibers, and continues: "In such a project, development work has to be carried out through the entire value chain starting from the forests up to the markets. MP Marisanna Jarva’s evening dress is a great example of what can be produced. And best of all – it is safe, sustainable and environmentally friendly."
Kaicell Fibers’ goal is to manufacture Arbron™ material at a plant in Paltamo, Finland. Systematic work is underway both in Europe and in China to scale up production at the commercial level.
The evening dress is a good indication that Arbron™ based textile performs well in practice. “It is pleasant to the skin, beautiful in appearance and tailored easy”, as commented by the designer of the dress, Maija Kumpula. The fabric was woven by Kultavilla and it was colored by Pia Leppänen-Keränen. According to them, the fabric behaved superbly at all stages. Based on this, Arbron™ will fit well in various applications comparable to viscose.