Montinutra has raised €2M in pre-A funding led by Metsä Spring, a corporate venture unit of Metsä Group, with a syndicate of private investors. Metsä Spring’s portfolio company’s unique, zero-waste, and commercial-ready innovation turns forest industry sidestreams such as sawdust into natural, non-GMO, and biodegradable biochemicals, significantly cutting CO2 emissions compared to fossil-based alternatives.
Founded in 2018, Montinutra transforms forest industry sidestreams into sustainable, high-value, and natural biochemicals that replace fossil alternatives in the chemical and cosmetics industries. With the funding, Montinutra will accelerate its global reach, advance the designing of the industrial demo production plant, and bring new products to market under its Boreal Bioproducts® brand. The company aims to reach €100 million in annual revenue by 2035, with the demo plant up and running by 2026.
“Forest industry sidestreams, such as sawdust, bark, or plywood processing residues, are currently hugely undervalued as raw materials, and are often burned for heat and energy. Traditionally, the focus has also been on the utilization of cellulose from wood, but the possibility of utilizing the rest of the wood, namely hemicellulose and lignin, which make up over 50% of wood content, has been limited. We enable the broader utilization of hemicellulose and lignin extracts by developing biochemicals out of them. This is how we turn these previously underused sidestreams into mainstream materials and increase the value of the raw material in multiples,” said Jaakko Pajunen, managing director, Montinutra.
Montinutra will be newly branded as Boreal Bioproducts®, and its biochemicals can be used for new bio-based product applications such as industrial binders, barrier coatings, dispersants, and personal care products, which have various applications in the cosmetics, chemical, and material industries.
The company’s production process is based on pressurized hot water extraction without the use of any chemicals, and with energy and water recovered back to the process. This enables cost-effective production of natural products with minimal environmental burden.
The rapid and simple extraction technology is easily scalable, and it can be flexibly applied to different types of lignocellulosic and other feedstocks. Forest industry sidestreams are not competing with the same land as the food cultivation, and they are readily available also outside the growth season, creating a secure and stable supply of sustainable feedstock.
“Solutions that use natural resources responsibly and reduce carbon emissions are much needed, not just for reaching global emission reduction targets, but also for helping different industries in their transformations from fossil-based to bio-based materials. Montinutra helps their customers in this and aims to build a new industry in Finland that combines bio-economy, sidestreams, and added value,” says Katariina Kemppainen, SVP, Group R&D, Metsä Group.
The company is currently planning and pre-engineering its first-of-a-kind demo plant to upcycle forest industry sidestreams, set to be commissioned in 2026. The planned location for the new plant is at the site of Metsä Group’s sawmill in Vilppula, Finland.
To learn more, visit www.montinutra.com and www.metsaspring.com.