The story of Ecohelix is about learning from nature. It all began with the observation that there are plenty of similar structures in natural materials we currently produce from oil-based sources. These molecules as raw materials are underutilized and mainly burned for their heat value. The most familiar of the dormant resources here in the norther latitudes is most unexpectedly the use of wood. It contains a significant amount of hemicellulose, which, due to its stubborn nature, has so far been practically unutilized. With its low molecular weight and how it is embedded in the wood matrix, it is hard to handle. Hemicellulose acts in a similar way as lignin in wood: as a binder for cellulose. Why not utilize these already created structures to our advantage? And we have.
Ecohelix can now provide a unique and patented technology that refines hemicellulose and some of the lignin from pulping industry side streams into high performing components, the WOODMER™ biopolymers. These innovative components in turn provide green and sustainable alternatives to convention, usually oil and food-based polymers – alternatives to plastics.
The open secret is to do the same as nature itself. It is called mimicking. Ecohelix technology is a biomimetic process that utilizes a reaction that occurs during the natural process of wood formation. We simply harness the very same enzymatic process that has been perfected for millions of years into an industrially applicable technology.
Sustainably managed Scandinavian forest industry and biorefinery concepts can provide a solution to our material and energy dependency¬–the technology has to be sound, and ours is. Self-evidently the feed stock of Ecohelix products is certified and strictly regulated.
Ecohelix is based in Stockholm, Sweden where we run our Research and Development. We have also established a demo scale plant at the Domsjö Fabriker mill for the production of the polymers developed and patented by us, with current capacity of 20 t/year for biopolymer production.
We have already spent more than 10 years in developing our technology and are now all ready to scale up the process and the business.
Ecohelix is financed by private equity as well as national and EU grants. Our VEHICLE project receives funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 837866.