Södra Skogsägarna started Avancell in 2005 as a research and idea network between Chalmers and industrial partners with the aim of creating value from the forest. Key challenges have been:
- Create a toolbox for fibre modifications
- Control fibre-water interactions
- New processes for textile fibres from wood
In 2008, the network was expanded with new companies – SCA Hygiene, Tetra Pak and BillerudKorsnäs, as well as the WooDi and Formulosa projects. In WooDi, the challenge was to find alternatives to the super absorbing material – focus on the absorbing fibre core. In Formulosa, the challenge was to develop a new kind of packaging material for drinks and wet foods as an alternative to plastics.
Since 2014, Swerea IVF and Lund University have joined the network and the main focus has been on wood-based cellulose textile with the goals to:
- Establish a regional competence centre around dissolution, coagulation and spinning of cellulose
- Understand the basics of the value chain raw material, dissolution and coagulation
Avancell has been economically supported by the Södra Skogsägarna Foundation for Research, Development and Education.