Agri-papers: Social Print Paper offers Wheat Sheet paper based on straw residue

Wheat.Sheet.CMYKSocial Print Paper based in New Westminster, BC, Canada, is offering a range of ‘tree-free’ AgriPapers based on agricultural residues such as wheat straw or sugar cane (bagasse) residues.  In  a recent tie-up with a paper company based in North India, Social Print Paper is producing a Wheat Sheet office paper containing 60% wheat straw residue from a wheat farming process, 35% recycled FSC Certified wood fibre from the plywood industry and 5% FSC Certified plantation fibre.

Social Print paper aims to match the quality and cost of traditional office papers.

For more information, see the article by Business Vancouver –> click here.

For a good green briefs blog article written by Lorne Craig, please click here.

Benecol – a success story for the forestry and pulp industries

BenecolAs the forestry, pulp and paper industries start to find a new place in the options for a sustainable future, it is worth reflecting on one of the success stories. The key ingredient of Benecol comes from pulp mills – the pulping of trees. With full credit to the following web address, here is a full transcript of the Benecol story:

‘Dr. Ingmar Wester, the Finnish chemist was stumped by a technical roadblock. For nearly 6 months, Wester had been looking at a class of molecules called phytosterols at Raisio (then called Raisio Margariini). Phytosterols occur naturally in plants and were known to reduce absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract. The problem was that there were no suitable methods for including it in foodstuffs because the ingredient crystallized when extracted from its natural source.

While playing with his 18-month-old daughter in 1989, an idea suddenly struck him. Wester raced to his lab to test his theory and made a breakthrough by inventing how to create Plant stanol ester, an evolved version of plant sterols. Ingmar’s innovative process enabled Raisio to produce food-grade, fat-soluble, plant sterols and stanols and to incorporate higher concentrations of plant stanols in foods without compromising the taste and effectiveness.

The company patented the process and the use of plant stanol ester for reducing elevated blood cholesterol levels. It engaged with research partners and aligned the product testing with an ongoing public-health initiative in Finland, called the North Karelia Project, which had been launched two decades earlier in response to the local petition to reduce the exceptionally high coronary heart disease mortality rates in the area. The work was done through healthcare professionals, food manufacturers, and other organizations and by the local people themselves with the bold objective of improving public health, especially through preventative measures. The main emphasis was on changing diets and reducing smoking. High cholesterol was amongst the issues considered as it was already recognized as one of the significant risk factors for cardiovascular disease. A clinical research study on plant stanol ester ingredient developed by Wester was included in this effort.

The study was led by Professor of the University of Helsinki, Tatu Miettinen, MD, who early on had suggested looking at phytosterols to help reduce cholesterol. The double-blind clinical study showed that Plant stanol ester incorporated into margarine, successfully reduced LDL cholesterol by 14%. The data from this 12 month study was published to great acclaim in the New England Journal of Medicine in November 1995.

Just as the study was published, Raisio introduced the first ever commercial phytosterol-based food – Benecol®- margarine. This was a logical route to the market as Raisio already held more than half of Finland’s margarine market.

The research results created a sensation. “It is like an atomic bomb we didn’t mean to invent,” Jukka Mäki, Raisio’s former deputy chief executive told the New York Times in 1996. “We were just looking for a better margarine. We never thought it would be that big.”

For more information, please click here, or here.



BioSight up to 2025: Changes in supply and demand affecting the global bio-based chemical industry

Pöyry has produced a report, ’BioSight up to 2025’ forecasting both the supply and demand trends in the bio-chemicals sector through to 2025 which confirms that the bio-based chemicals sector is a growing, global market.

In the report, Pöyry introduces its concept for structuring the bio-chemicals sector. Chemicals are divided into sugar, oil, lignin and gas platforms according to their feedstock. These platforms form the basis of the extremely broad spectrum of end-uses including automotive, electronics and packaging.

Pöyry has forecast business opportunities over the coming years for each of the four platforms. First, Poyry’s experts found that whilst the oil and fat platform is the most mature, sensibilities around sustainability arguments mean future supply is uncertain. In the coming years, Pöyry believes that the European market will invest effort in supplying lignin. The report makes this assessment on the basis that lignin is currently underused but is a market enabler for lignocellulose sugars and therefore has potential for significant growth.

Pöyry point out that there is a lack of solid understanding of the demand side and the added value of bio-based components. During the study, Pöyry did an estimation of bio-based plastics as a large end-use by itself for bio-based chemicals, representing approximately 900 kt in 2013. Demand for bio-based plastics is increasingly brand driven and many leading consumer brands have set targets for introducing bio-based plastics to their products. However, despite rapid growth rates, bio-based plastics will account for less than 2% of the total plastics demand in 2025. The question is whether this would be typical of an analysis of any other bio-based product.

Pöyry expect changes to supply and demand to affect the various geographical hubs that dominate the biochemicals industry. Asia leads global production and is expanding thanks to significant government support. Globally, North America, Europe and Brazil all compete with their different competitive advantages.

Pöyry admit that the bio-based chemical and polymer industry is complex and a tough business to forecast. However, the Pöyry ’BioSight up to 2025’ addresses these and many other significant market issues. The report offers an insight into the bio-based chemical business, providing value to investors and companies active in the financial sector, forest and agricultural industries, chemical industry, end-users and brand owners as well as to authorities and government agencies.

For the detailed press release, please click here.


Today is Earth Day 2015 ….. what does it mean?

To commemorate the 45th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, Earth Day Network (EDN), the non-profit organization founded by organizers of the first Earth Day in 1970, is announcing a series of events and programs to drive forward the movement. More than 1 billion people in 192 countries will participate in Earth Day activities and events, making it the largest civic observance in the world. This Earth Day, EDN calls upon citizens, educators, corporate leaders, governments and global organizations to take action under the banner,  It’s our turn to lead

For more details on the Earth Day website, please click here.

For an update on ‘everything’ you need to know about Earth Day 2015, please click here.

SURFEX 2016, 24th – 25th May, 2016, NEC Birmingham, UK

SURFEX 2016 is being held at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham, United Kingdom on the 24th and 25th May in conjunction with the European Technical Coatings Congress (ETCC) on the 25th and 26th May 2016. ‘Proudly supported by the British Coatings Federation (BCF) and Vincentz Network, it is set to become the UK’s must attend coatings event of the year and will gather more than 2000 coatings experts from all over Europe.’

SURFEX is the place to network with your customers and visitors with needs in the following areas:

  • Chemicals and Raw Materials
  • Inks
  • Resins
  • Adhesives and Sealants
  • Protective Coatings
  • Paint Application and Surface Preparation
  • Corrosion and Construction Chemicals
  • Test Equipment
  • Manufacturing Plant

For more information, please click here.

Mobilegeddon: Websites not mobile-friendly will drop down the Google rankings

GoogleGoogle has made a major update to its search algorithm and if your website is not ‘mobile friendly’ it will drop down the search rankings, dramatically reducing the number of visitors to your site.

Some search engine ranking experts have called the potential fallout from the changes, “mobilegeddon”.

If you would like to check whether your website is considered ‘mobile friendly’, please click here and enter your website address.

Congratulations to Tappi – a century of achievement

Tappi 100This week, Atlanta will host PaperCon 2015 and TAPPI’s Centennial Celebration – congratulations to the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry.

In February 1915, thirty-five visionary industrialists met andformed the Technical Session of the American Paper and Pulp Association for the purpose of exchanging views and mutual knowledge and to advance the art of papermaking. By September, their number had swelled to 125. The group voted to become an autonomous body with a new name: the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry – TAPPI was born!

TAPPI’s growth and success were startling. Our members advanced the industry through knowledge sharing, creating thousands of technical articles, innovative research, definitive conferences and detailed courses. The people who generously shared their time and talent to build TAPPI – like those who sustain it today – come from every pulp, paper, packaging producer and supplier company from around the world.

Horizon 2020 – European funding for innovation

H2020-illu_copy.peshkova - Fotolia_0Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.

Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness.

Seen as a means to drive economic growth and create jobs, Horizon 2020 has the political backing of Europe’s leaders and the Members of the European Parliament. They agreed that research is an investment in our future and so put it at the heart of the EU’s blueprint for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and jobs.

By coupling research and innovation, Horizon 2020 is helping to achieve this with its emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.

Horizon 2020 is open to everyone, with a simple structure that reduces red tape and time so participants can focus on what is really important. This approach makes sure new projects get off the ground quickly – and achieve results faster.

The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation will be complemented by further measures to complete and further develop the European Research Area. These measures will aim at breaking down barriers to create a genuine single market for knowledge, research and innovation.

For more detailed information, please click here

What is open innovation?

Often I read about open innovation and that we have no choice but to embrace this approach to innovation whether an individual entrepreneur, an SME or a large innovative company.

A good place to start to understand this approach to innovation is with the work of Stefan Lindegaard who provides insight into:

• The essentials: What open innovation is and why it matters?
• An overview of the mindset and skills needed to succeed with open innovation
• An understanding of the impact of social media on open innovation

For a good introduction, please click here

The Yorkshire Mafia – Yorkshire’s business showreel

Yorkshire MafiaYorkshire is open for business! Watch the Yorkshire Mafia, 3 minutes and 38 seconds showreel. Hundreds of businesses in one big collaborative effort …. showing off Yorkshire as the engine room of the North and really putting on a display of the colour, breadth and diversity of Yorkshire business.

To watch the video, please click here