Research program FLIPPR identifies new pathways for paper industry

Long-term research program involving Mondi, other representatives of the international papermaking industry, and Austrian universities identifies future business opportunities linked to lignin and fibres.

Research program FLIPPR identifies new pathways for paper industry

At the beginning of March, Mondi, the international packaging and paper group, hosted the closing event of a research project entitled Flippr (Future Lignin and Pulp Processing Research) at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria. The event marked the end of four years of collaborative research into bio-refinery issues, conducted by four industrial partners Mondi, Heinzel Group, Norske Skog Bruck and Sappi from the paper industry, and three Austrian universities.

The main objective of the project was to identify future business areas for the companies in the fields of lignin and modern fibre utilization.

Innovative. Every day. Fostering research for customers’ success

At the closing ceremony, director of the Flippr project Thomas Timmel highlighted the principal benefits of such research programs, “Projects such as Flippr, in which fundamental research is aligned with the needs of the industry, combine the development of advanced technical solutions, in this case based on cellulose and lignin, with an ecological and economical perspective. The project has delivered new and exciting findings relating to applications and analytical methodologies.”

Professor Wolfgang Bauer of Graz University of Technology said, “Flippr has created a critical body of researchers in the field of lignocellulosic bio-refinery research in Austria, which now ranks among the top research groups worldwide in this field. This form of cooperation between universities and companies will definitely continue in the future for the benefit of Austria as a competitive location for the pulp and paper industry.” On the subject of the partnership forged by the project, Professor Thomas Rosenau, BOKU Vienna, commented, “Flippr provides an excellent example of how well fundamental science and applied research can go together. We really enjoyed working together with our industrial and academic partners, and we are eager to sustain this relationship.”

Customer focused. Every day. How Mondi’s customers benefit from R&D

For Mondi, thanks to the knowledge gained from Flippr, the participants further developed analytical capabilities and found new ways of cascading use of wood striving to meet the needs of customers who purchase Mondi packaging and uncoated fine papers. Moreover, as a supplier, Mondi is determined to offer sustainable solutions and environmentally sound containerboard, sack kraft, speciality kraft and uncoated fine paper grades while minimising the amounts of essential fossil-based chemicals in its products.

“Creating value from a natural resource is one of the key challenges for Mondi’s R&D teams. By engaging in Flippr we can build the next generation of pulp-based bio-refineries and thus develop new and improved bio-based products requiring less raw material and energy,” comments Leo Arpa, Head of R&D Paper Mondi Europe & International.

The most promising processes and products from Flippr have been selected for scaling up in the upcoming Flippr2 programme. Flippr2 will start in spring 2017 and seek to implement the project outcomes in Mondi’s pulp and paper mills.

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