Jord Innovation sees a bright future for tealights from forest sidestreams
16 December 2021, 13:04
The aim is high for Jord innovation: to replace fossil materials in the packaging industry. First out is something that is used in almost every home - tealights. Here, a residual product from the forest also comes into the picture.
Tealights can be found in almost every Swedish home, no less than 300 million of these are sold every year. Far from all light cups end up in recycling after use. A problem that Jord innovation has tackled - the solution is spelled candle cups in a new bio-based material that is degradable in the usual compost.
The light cups are just a bit on the road, the material can be used in many other products. In the long run, there are big plans: to replace the fossil materials in the packaging industry. - But we start with the lighting industry, it is a pretty big challenge in itself to change it. If you can make a tealight, you show that the material can withstand both high temperatures and can contain a liquid, which are two major difficulties when it comes to packaging, says Axel Häger, CEO and founder.
Right now there is a lot of focus on building teams and a company structure. A year in Forest Business Accelerator has provided both insights and contacts. - There is a lot you do not know. For me, it has been valuable to have Processum as a sounding board, to be able to talk about difficulties and ambitions and be connected with the right person to move forward, says Axel Häger, who is the sole founder of the company. Something that makes it extra important to make contacts and get help from outside. - I do not know everything, therefore it is important for me to supplement my knowledge with people who know other parts and there Processum has been helpful with its material knowledge and orientation in research environments. It has a large pool of research expertise and is also a top group to deal with.
Together, Jord innovation and Processum are working on another innovation: to produce stearin from tall oil to utilize resources in the vicinity instead of fossil paraffin or palm oil, which is often used in light products.
- We have a lot of forest in Sweden and it would be interesting to be able to use the resources that are here, instead of importing palm oil. Tall oil is a side stream from the pulp industry and it would be fantastic to have use for a by-product from an already sustainable production - and be able to make another product, it is a great opportunity and an important change to build a sustainable lighting industry.
Jonas Fahrni is an R&D engineer at Processum and has worked closely with Jord Innovation in the development of producing stearin from tall oil.
- It is very exciting to be involved in developing a new product in this way. The work together with Jord Innovation gives us an opportunity to work directly with the entrepreneur and Axel has an incredible drive and a vision that inspires. For me as a researcher, the collaborations that are created within Processum's R&D council give me close contact with the companies that participate, which is very educational, says Jonas.