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A biopolymer plant is being built in Finland to pilot the production of bioplastic on an industrial scale, Biofuels Digest reported on 27 March.

Four companies – FinnFoam, Brightplus Oy, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Nordic Soya – are working together on a project to use soya molasses as a raw material in the production of compostable bioplastic, according to the report.

Soya molasses – a side stream from soya processing – are not suitable for consumption and are usually incinerated.

Nordic Soya uses soya grown in Europe in its Uusikaupunki plant and soya molasses left over from the production process were used as the raw material in the research, according to the Biofuels Digest report.

“It is a major technological step forward that side streams that are unusable in food production can now be used to produce responsible high value bio-based products,” said Brightplus technology director Jarkko Leivo.

The companies are launching a pilot plant project in Uusikaupunki in connection with Nordic Soya to pilot biomaterial innovations, according to the report.

Scheduled to be built during this year and next, the plant was expected to be operational by the end of 2023, Biofuels Digest said.

Finnfoam plans to use the new bioplastic in the production of thermal insulation for buildings, according to the report.

Brightplus, which is responsible for co-ordinating the project, will test chemistry innovations with its partners at the pilot plant.