Metsä Group leads €1m seed funding round in Swedish startup FineCell

Published: 14-Dec-2023

The fresh funds will be used to boost material application research, engage with potential customers and finalise the plan for a demo production facility towards the end of 2024.

Metsä Spring, Metsä Group’s innovation company, today announces its second Swedish investment in FineCell (FineCellOx AB), developer of the FineCell technology and producer of CellOx dry cellulose powder.

The funds will be used to further develop and plan a demo production facility for the FineCell technology that can turn dry pulp fibre into added-value biomaterial, which can be used both as a powder and as a water solution (hydrogel).

These can replace fossil-based chemicals in sectors like beauty and healthcare products as well as commercial paint production.

The pulp-based materials are made through the novel and innovative FineCell technology, which combines pulp-based cellulose with a natural chemical (oxalic acid), producing a new material that can easily be stored in a solid form yet is often applied in a liquid form.

CellOx is completely biobased, light to ship and, compared with 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 and skin creams. It’s also transparent, enabling it to be used in a large variety of products.

In addition to replacing fossil-based ingredients, the FineCell technology can also be used for applications in healthcare.

Unlike competitors’ offerings, FineCell’s technology provides materials that can be utilised as combinations of many different types of cellulose to produce the desired effect.

The patent-protected technology, which allows for constant and very energy efficient change between liquid and solid state, is also unique to the company’s technology.

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

“Our goal is to bring our biobased material to more and more sectors, thus replacing fossil-based materials and also increasing the performance of the product."

"This, in turn, would require scaling up production to the point where we are making a large impact on products people use in their everyday lives. Our story has just begun, and we cannot wait to embark on the next stage in our journey,” concludes Dr Peter Axegård, CEO and co-owner of FineCell.

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