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Metsä Group invests in startup FineCell, pulp-based materials producer

FINLAND (News release) -- Metsä Group has made its second Swedish investment in FineCell (FineCellOx AB), developer of the FineCell technology and producer of CellOx dry cellulose powder. The company will use the Euro 1 million seed funding to improve its material application know-how, engage with potential customers, and finalise the material needed for making an investment decision concerning a demo production facility. The funding round lead by Metsä Group's innovation company Metsä Spring consists of a group of investors, including EIT InnoEnergy and the company's founder.

The FineCell technology can turn pulp into added-value biomaterial that can be used both as a powder and as a water solution, i.e., a hydrogel. These can replace fossil-based chemicals in beauty and healthcare products, as well as in paints. FineCell is a spinout of the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

The CellOx material is made through the novel and innovative FineCell technology, which combines cellulose with a natural chemical - oxalic acid found in e.g. rhubarb - producing a new material that is completely biobased, light to ship, and compared to other similar cellulose products, requires 80-90% less energy to manufacture. CellOx can easily carry other ingredients, making it an excellent binding agent for products such as sunscreens, skin creams, and paints. It's also transparent, enabling it to be used in a large variety of products.

FineCell aims to have the design of its demo plant ready for investment decision by the end of 2024. The company plans to have larger-scale test production underway during 2025, with full commercial production commencing in 2027.


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