Metsà Spring invests in fossil-free insulation startup

Finnish startup Fiberwood, a producer of 100% ecological wood fiber insulation and packaging materials made from mechanical wood industry side streams, has raised a late seed funding round. The round was led by Metsä Group’s innovation company Metsä Spring, and the round included public financing from Business Finland. The funding will be used to develop and scale up the production capabilities of its pilot plant as it heads into industrial-level continuous production.

Fiberwood’s bio-based, plastic-free, and compostable insulation sheets are made from wood pulp and side streams from the mechanical wood industry with special foam-forming technology. The insulation sheets include natural traits of trees as well as air pockets that increase the material’s insulation capabilities. The products are carbon negative as they store and bind carbon dioxide to the wood for as long as it exists. The insulation sheets are easy, safe, and quick to install. Once they are ready to be recycled, the insulation sheets will biodegrade into plastic-free soil.

“Since last September, in our first phase of production, we have been able to produce commercial-sized insulation boards for testing. Next, we will build a continuous pilot line for production-scale product and process development. As no existing machinery and processes can produce our products, we need to invent new technology to do so,” says Karita Kinnunen-Raudaskoski, Fiberwood’s Director of Technology and Product Development.

“Our innovative foam-forming production process is more energy-efficient and uses less water than similar processes in general, so we promote the goal of sustainable development by using side streams, producing high-value products energy-efficiently, and promoting wood construction,” continues Kinnunen-Raudaskoski.

The construction industry is responsible for up to 40 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, so innovations like the technology developed by Fiberwood are much needed to reduce the industry’s emission production and promote completely wood-based construction. According to Fiberwood, wood construction is estimated to grow from 10% to 30% in EU countries by 2050.

Fiberwood’s packaging cushioning/protection sheets are excellent in protecting goods in transport, with protection abilities similar to styrofoam sheets and no meaningful warpage in changing conditions.

Fiberwood’s wood-based thermal insulation boards are breathable, which refers to the building material’s ability to absorb and release moisture, unlike mineral wool. The material is fire-resistant, insulates excellently, and as it’s plastic-free, it’s not a source of microplastics.

Metsä Spring is Metsä Group’s innovation company. Metsä Spring invests worldwide in promising young enterprises (startups) and conducts R&D activities also on its own.

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