VTT develops green bio- and chemical processing steps for different industrial sectors, e.g. biotech, chemical, food and pulp and paper industries as well as biorefineries. The research covers the whole value chain, from development of biocatalysts or chemical catalysts to implementation of the green unit operations to industrial processes.

VTT’s scientific and technological focus on green bio- and chemical processing
VTT works for discovery, improvement and exploitation of enzymes and microbial strains, algae and plant cell cultures using up-to-date methodology. Metabolic engineering of microbial production strains is carried out in order to be able to produce novel bio-based chemicals from biomass components. The key competences are in fundamental understanding of the molecular biology and physiology of industrially important organisms as well as discovery of enzymes being able to break biomass to its building units and to further modify these components to various chemicals or materials. The unique research facilities cover the whole chain from molecular level research, analysis of the reaction mechanisms with advanced analytical methods, as well as development of process applications at the laboratory and pilot scale.

In the field of polymer and chemical products, the research focus is in bio-based materials, i.e. polymers derived from renewables that are functionalised by green chemical or chemo-mechanical techniques. VTT applies green organic and polymer synthesis technologies for development of new polymer and chemical products. Processing infrastructure is available for the production of chemicals and polymers. Fermentation and downstream facilities enable biotechnical production of enzymes and chemicals up to a scale of two cubic meters.

VTT’s key offering
Green process alternatives to manufacturing industry
VTT’s strength in green processing technologies is the knowhow of the whole research value-chain, from development of biotools or green catalysts to e.g. pulp and paper technology or chemical technology. VTT works in close collaboration with different industrial sectors and has profound knowledge on the technological needs and requirements of these sectors. Therefore combination of the green process alternatives or unit operations as part of the existing processes can be efficiently carried out.

Biorefining of agro and forest biomass and process by-products
VTT focuses strongly on biorefinery research. Technologies for the production of new biomass derived biofuels, chemicals and polymers are being developed. One strong area of expertise is metabolic engineering of microbes for the production of bulk and high-value chemicals. New green process concepts for valorisation of agro and forest residues to value added chemicals either though the cell factory route or directly by fractionation of the target polymers or components from the biomass are being developed.