Lixea pilot plant in 2022
Publicerat 11 November, 2021
Lixea is the company that started as a spin-off of research from Imperial College in London and is now establishing its pilot plant in Kristinehamn in the north of Sweden. – The goal is to have it in place early 2022, says Jennica Ivarsson, plant manager.
Earlier this year, Lixea was granted SEK 20 million to establish its pilot plant, strategically located in the LignoCity test bed premises next to Nordic Paper’s paper mill in Bäckhammar, Kristinehamn municipality.
Using its patented process, Lixea can produce cellulose and lignin from various types of wood-based materials, which can then be used as building blocks for environmentally sustainable applications.
– We are working for a more sustainable society and want to help reduce the amount of waste. Our idea is based on using materials that would otherwise be thrown away, says Jennica Ivarsson.
Depending on where you are in the world, cellulose and lignin can be extracted from different types of materials.
– It could be sawmill chips, debris from sugar plantations or tree plantations, for example.
Complement instead of competitor
Plant manager Jennica Ivarsson, who has a background in the pulp and paper industry, says that Lixea basically works in the same way as the traditional industry.
– The process uses liquid salt as a fractionation chemical and is more energy efficient and cheaper than the traditional methods used today. We work in an environmentally friendly way and do not want to compete but to be a complement in the industry.
Lixea was founded in 2017 in London and it is no coincidence that they have chosen to establish themselves in Sweden and Kristinehamn in the Värmland region, says Jennica.
– Sweden as a country is at the forefront of bio-based development, she says.
The company is a new member of Paper Province and it was the network and expertise that played an important role.
– The clusters that exist here are a big reason why we chose to establish ourselves in Kristinehamn, and Paper Province is a big player there. We also saw advantages in the fact that there is so much expertise here, which we hope to be able to take advantage of.
Pilot plant 2022
In the next year, Lixea hopes to have an additional five employees in Sweden, which means that about half of the workforce will be in the UK and half in Sweden. And according to Jennica, the first goal is to have the pilot plant up and running shortly after the end of the year.
– That’s the most important thing for me right now so that we can work in parallel and find investors so we can go to full scale relatively quickly, she says.