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The European SUNPAP (Scaling Up Nanoparticles in Modern Paper Making) project aims to demonstrate that it is possible to manufacture high-quality functional paper and packaging products on a pilot scale by using flexible, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly processes. Nanocellulose is being researched globally, primarily at the laboratory scale. With the SUNPAP Project, the intention is to take research to the next level – to pilot scale and all the way through to the end product.

The project will update the current processes of paper manufacture and coating and identify new product opportunities through the use of functional fibre-based materials instead of synthetic petroleum-based materials. The benefits include independence from oil prices, lighter products and the creation of new functionalities and applications in the future. The new coating techniques will allow material-efficient, thin layers to be spread across the paper surface. The main targets are:

  1. Development and up-scaling of novel processes for the energy efficient production of nanomaterials, namely NFC, in pilot scale.

  2. Development and up-scaling of NFC modification processes to address the challenges of papermaking and to provide added-value active functionalities.

  3. Building and demonstration of pilot lines to alleviate take-up of nanotechnologies, both for the production and the utilisation of NFC, to the modern papermaking processes.

  4. Exploitation of innovative sustainable solutions for the whole paper industry value chain by integrated sustainability assessment approaches based on economical, social and environmental impact assessments.

  5. Risk assessments to guarantee the safe introduction of nanotechnologies in the whole value chain of traditional industrial paper production processes and final paper based products.

The project aims to promote the competitiveness of the forest industry and create new products and markets. This will benefit paper manufacturers and the packaging industry, as well as the consumers of fibre-based products.