Fibria’s business goes beyond the cultivation of eucalyptus and production of pulp. In keeping with its diversification strategy, the company is pursuing new products and new applications for its planted forests, which could benefit the industry and/or even go beyond pulp and paper.
Fibria believes in the potential that forests offer by solving problems related to climate change and how they can contribute to a low-carbon economy. Fibria’s strategy includes developing higher-value products and services that transcend the commodity concept and can substitute fossil-based raw materials.
Fibria’s search for diversification has clearly delineated development lines. They in turn are supported by leveraging competencies, complementing the value chain, forging partnerships with relevant technology providers and driving innovation applied to the final goal, while taking growth and profitability into account.
The paths chosen for advancing this strategy include investing in lignin and its byproducts, bio-oil from pyrolysis, biocomposites, cellulose microfibers and cellulose nanocrystalline. To support the strategy, the technology and innovation network was expanded beyond the operational centers in Brazil.
Since 2015, Fibria Innovations (FINN) has been part of this structure that conducts research into new applications. FINN is a center of excellence that focuses on cutting-edge technology for the development of studies into lignin applications. Today, this product is reused in the industrial process to cogenerate energy at the plants.
In addition to FINN, Fibria also became a part, as shareholder, of companies that excel in the development of these new applications. It also forged partnerships with universities and companies working on the same research line. Learn about each of them.
In 2016, Fibria signed an agreement to forge a strategic alliance and acquire an 8.3% interest in CelluForce, a Canadian company that is the world leader in the commercial production of cellulose nanocrystalline (CNC). Nanocellulose is a resistant, lightweight and transparent material obtained from pulp that is exceptionally strong and versatile and has multiple applications. This biodegradable and renewable technology can be used in the cement industry, in the oil and gas industry and in the development of electronics, among other applications.
Under the agreement, Fibria has rights to the exclusive distribution in South America of the cellulose nanocrystalline produced using CelluForce technology.
Located in Delaware, United States, Fibria holds a 12.1% interest in Ensyn Corporation, a company that invests in renewable fuels for producing bio-oil from biomass.
Through pyrolysis, the biomass is submitted to a thermochemical treatment to obtain a liquid fuel that can substitute fossil fuels for power generation or be co-refined with oil.
Fibria’s next step will be to build an operational unit in Brazil for the development and sale of the bio-oil. The project is in the final phase of studies and validation. If approved, production will be destined primarily to the U.S. market, since the country has regulatory incentives for the use of this type of renewable fuel.
In Finland, Fibria holds an 18% interest in Spinnova, a technology company that develops low-cost and environmentally sustainable technologies for using wood fibers to make raw materials for the textile industry. The goal is to develop high-value products that go beyond the commodity concept and adhere to Fibria’s low-carbon concept.
The agreement provides for a joint investment by Fibria and Spinnova in the development of a pilot production line for testing the feasibility of technologies and production on a pre-commercial scale.