Perfect the Picture.

Across all industries, leading companies are busy painting a picture of tomorrow’s world. In this picture, our world has transitioned away from depending on fossil-based raw materials and everyday items such as packages and textiles are renewable and recyclable. To realize this picture of a more sustainable and circular future, companies need a vital element: chemistry.

At Kemira, we have been working for over a hundred years to create the right kind of chemistry. Today, we have the expertise, know-how, and solutions that play a key role in enabling tomorrow’s renewable packaging and textiles. We’re keen to work together with future-minded partners across the value chain and help you accomplish your vision.

Now, let’s get together – and Perfect the Picture!


For the new and innovative types of paper and board packaging

Consumers and regulators are demanding recyclability and sustainability from packaging that brands use. New and innovative types of paper and board packaging can offer solutions. With help from chemistry, fiber-based packaging can be fully renewable, recyclable, and increasingly used also in demanding end-use applications.

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Fashion of the future: A more sustainable textile industry

The current challenge to transform the textile industry is huge. Responsible brands are painting a picture of a more sustainable future, where fossil-based synthetic materials and cotton are replaced with renewable alternatives and textiles are recycled more efficiently. In this transformation, chemistry plays an essential role.

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Molded fiber – Shaping the future of packaging

The pressure to transition from single-use plastics to renewable alternatives is affecting brands in practically every field of business. The challenge is to do it without compromising on functionality, safety or cost-efficiency. This is where chemistry comes in – enabling new types of molded packaging.

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Questions you might have

Cellulose and cellulosic fiber are terms that are often used interchangeably, but there’s a distinct difference between the two.

Cellulose is a naturally occurring polymer, a carbohydrate, found in plant cell walls. It provides strength and rigidity to plant structures. Cellulosic fiber, also known as cellulose fiber, refers to fibers derived from cellulose. These fibers are typically obtained by processing cellulose found in plants, such as wood, cotton, or bamboo. In essence, cellulose is a natural compound found in nature, while cellulosic fibers are the result of mechanical and chemical processing of cellulose.

For example, consider wood pulp, which is very rich in cellulose. Through chemical treatment, wood pulp can be turned into cellulosic fibers that are used in the production of paper, board, and tissue. The cellulose extracted from wood pulp can also be turned into fibers for cellulosic textile production or used in molded fiber packaging.

Cellulosic fibers, derived from cellulose that is found in the cell walls of plants such as wood, cotton, and bamboo, are widely utilized raw material that offer numerous benefits across various industries, like packaging and textiles.

Firstly, cellulosic fibers come from renewable resources: they are extracted from plant-based sources that can be replenished through cultivation. When compared to non-renewable resources like fossil fuels and minerals, cellulosic fibers provide a more environmentally friendly alternative. Additionally, cellulosic fibers are biodegradable, meaning they can decompose naturally over time. This inherent quality reduces waste and minimizes environmental impact. Moreover, cellulosic fibers can also be recycled and turned into new products, reducing the need for virgin materials.

Secondly, cellulose itself is versatile and has several favorable chemical and physical properties that make it suitable for a wide range of applications. It’s lightweight and durable, and generally recognized as safe and non-toxic for both humans and the environment. These attributes enable the use of cellulosic fibers in diverse industries and end uses, including food packaging, textiles, and even building materials like cellulose insulation.

Furthermore, cellulose is an abundant raw material that can be easily extracted. This makes it readily available and relatively cost-effective compared to some other raw materials.

The circular economy strives to minimize waste while maximizing resource efficiency by keeping products and materials in use for as long as possible. When it comes to this sustainability approach, cellulosic fibers offer many possibilities.

Cellulosic fibers are both renewable and abundantly available. They originate from plant-based sources, which makes them a genuinely sustainable alternative to materials derived from non-renewable fossil feedstocks. Cellulose’s abundance in nature ensures a steady and dependable supply, reducing reliance on finite petroleum-based resources.

Secondly, cellulose is naturally biodegradable and compostable. When products made from cellulose reach the end of their life cycle, they can be easily broken down by natural processes. This reduces the need for landfill space and minimizes the environmental impact. In addition, cellulose can be recycled and upcycled into a variety of products. By utilizing mechanical or chemical processes, cellulose fibers can be extracted from waste materials and used to create new products. This closed-loop approach guarantees that cellulose remains in circulation, reducing the demand for virgin resources and minimizing the overall ecological footprint.

In essence, cellulose’s renewable nature coupled with its biodegradability and recyclability, position it as a valuable contributor to the shift toward a more circular and environmentally conscious economy.

Chemistry is the invisible enabler for both the existing and new cellulose-based products. Cellulose, the main component in these products, is a complex carbohydrate. To transform this renewable raw material into products with specific properties and functionalities, a deep understanding of chemistry and the use of chemicals is paramount.

  • Chemistry is important is in the extraction and processing of cellulosic fibers. These fibers, obtained from sources like wood or plant materials, require chemical treatment to remove impurities and enhance their properties. Without these chemical processes, the fibers would lack the desired qualities such as strength, brightness, and colorfastness.
  • Chemistry is crucial in the modification of cellulosic fibers for various end uses by improving and optimizing their functional properties. For instance, chemical treatments can alter the surface properties of cellulosic fibers, improving their hydrophobicity or increasing their strength. Chemistry also contributes significantly to the efficiency of the production processes, ensuring process runnability, smooth operations, and improved water efficiency.
  • Chemistry is indispensable in the development of additives and treatments that enhance the performance of cellulosic products, guaranteeing they possess all the desired characteristics for their intended end-use, such as durability or resistance to water and grease. These chemical additives must be carefully formulated to preserve the favorable core properties of cellulosic fibers, including their recyclability and biodegradability as well as safety.

All in all, chemistry is essential to products made from cellulosic fibers and instrumental in harnessing cellulose’s potential across diverse fields. Profound chemistry expertise enables both the processing and enhancement of the raw material, allowing it to meet specific requirements and adapt for various end uses. Without the application of chemistry, cellulosic fiber products would lack the essential qualities that make them invaluable in various industries.

Various industries can benefit from the integration of cellulosic fibers into their products and processes. The unique properties of cellulosic fibers offer a range of advantages that can contribute to more environmentally friendly and efficient solutions.

Cellulosic fibers, particularly those derived from wood pulp, are widely used in the paper and packaging industry. These fibers possess properties that make them ideal for various paper grades such as printing paper, packaging boards, tissue paper, and specialty papers. Moreover, cellulosic fibers can serve as a foundation for the development of novel biodegradable and recyclable packaging alternatives, e.g., molded packaging and films.

In the world of fashion and textiles, the utilization of wood-based cellulosic fibers is gaining momentum. These fibers can be spun into yarns and fabrics, providing a renewable alternative to conventional fossil-based synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon. Cellulosic fibers are also ideal for home furnishing applications. They can be used to produce curtains, upholstery fabrics, bed linens, and towels. Cellulosic fibers can find applications also in the personal care and hygiene industry, particularly in the production of disposable products like diapers, wipes, and feminine hygiene products. Their attributes, including high absorbency and softness, make them suitable for products that come into direct contact with the skin.

Cellulosic fibers can even be incorporated into building materials such as cement, concrete, and insulation to enhance their properties. These fibers can improve the durability, fire resistance, and thermal performance of construction materials.

These are just a few examples of the industries that can benefit from cellulosic fibers. Their versatility, sustainability, and performance characteristics position them as a promising resource across a multitude of applications.

Contact us to explore collaboration opportunities

We see the future you see. Now, let’s get together and Perfect the Picture.

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