Philipp wants to contribute to a better world
Of the fifty entries in the Paper Province innovation competition What wood you do, fourteen came from countries other than Sweden. One of them is “Get the most out of a tree”, submitted by Philipp Schlee from Germany.
The innovation competition What wood you do created interest across Europe. Several of the submissions came from Scandinavia, but also from Canada, the UK, Italy, Spain, France and Germany.
Studying in London
Philipp Schlee is one of the competitors with “Get the most out of a tree”. Philipp is studying at Imperial College in London and is at the end of his doctoral project.
– I want every part of the tree to be used to its full potential. Half of dry wood weight is not used and I want to change that with my idea, he says.
In the European pulp and paper industry, black liquor is a residual product which is usually incinerated to generate heat and energy. At Lignocity in Bäckhammar outside Kristinehamn, the processing has taken a step further and extracted lignin from the black liquor, which can be used in a variety of ways. Philipp also wants to increase the value of black liquor and use it for textiles.
– Black liquor may be the most important base material for a new generation of forest-based fibers, so-called nonwoven nanofibers. Instead of using it as fuel, our goal is to keep the majority of the black liquor in the material cycle longer, he says.
Can be used in filters
Nonwoven nanofibers can be used in a variety of products with functional textiles, such as air filters, sound insulation and biomedical products.
– My main goal is not only to replace fossil raw materials with renewables, but also to do so in the most efficient way. I am in the first stage of planning and raising funding to get this idea started.