Stora Enso has announced plans to build a pilot-scale facility for producing Cellufoam by Stora Enso, a lightweight, fiber-based foam material for protective packaging and cushioning. The foam is derived from renewably-sourced materials and is recyclable.
The pilot plant will be located at Stora Enso’s Fors Mill in Sweden.
The initial target application for Cellufoam will be the protective packaging of fragile products, for example, consumer electronics.
“The interest in sustainable packaging solutions is already large and continuously growing,” Markus Mannström, Executive Vice President of Stora Enso’s Biomaterials division, explained.
“Our bio-based foam offers a renewable, recyclable and biodegradable alternative to traditional oil-based packaging foams EPE or EPS.”
Interest in biobased alternatives to traditional materials is also growing in other areas as well. According to the company, its Cellufoam could also potentially find application in sports equipment, as thermal insulation in shipments and as a growth medium in soil-free farming, among other areas.
The new pilot plant will enable Stora Enso to evaluate and validate Cellufoam as a packaging foam in customer tests and to further develop the production process. It will be part of Stora Enso’s Biomaterials division.
The design and engineering work for the new facility will start immediately. According to the company, completion is targeted for the fourth quarter of 2021. Decisions about commercialisation will follow, after evaluating the results of the pilot-scale production.
Stora Enso’s Fors Mill today produces world-class light-weight paperboards for consumer packaging. The modern mill’s energy production is free from fossil-CO2 emissions. The pilot plant investment will not impact the mill’s current production.