News within the industry of pulp and paper, Jun, 17 2019
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Mycorena takes fish feed production from lab to thousands of tons

Published by
Simon Matthis - 04 Jun 2019

Mycorena uses waste streams from the paper mill Nordic Paper in Bächammar, Sweden, to create bio based fish feed. Download picture...

Mycorena is the first company to get Industry entrance support by the LignoCity2.0-project, to faster be able to scale-up the production and reach the market. Their fish feed, made from paper mill´s waste streams, are ready to go from a small lab-production to be produced in hundreds of tons.

Imagine a circular economy where everything is used, nothing goes to waste. One of the companies that contribute to that is Mycorena AB. They have grown from what started as a research study at Gothenburg University in the late 90s to a start-up company, building their first production facility in LignoCity's premises in Bäckhammar, Sweden. LignoCity is a test facility focusing on lignin, it is located beside the paper mill Nordic Paper. The mill provide residual currents from the paper production witch Mycorena uses to grow a fungi-based protein.

“The fungus consumes the residual particles in the water to grow into a protein rich material, that can be processed to become feed-protein. At the same time, the water gets cleaned and can be reused in the mill's production process. So we basically convert the waste-water stream at the industry into a high-value product. And this is one of the most sustainable bioeconomy approach that the paper-pulp industry can get'' says Ramkumar Nair, Mycorena's CEO and founder.

For now, Mycorena’s main focus is to produce fish feed from the protein, but the future possibilities are wider.

“We can also use the fungus that we grow for material production. By adding lignin and a few binding materials to the non-protein part of the fungi, we could for example, create a biocomposite material that can be used for packaging”, says Ramkumar Nair.

Right now Mycorena are about to build their first real pilot-production facility on LignoCity's premises, with help from ÅF Pöyry. This will take them from lab production to a scale-up that will provide tons of feed protein by 2020.

The fact that Mycorena so quickly have succeeded in moving from the lab environment is rare.

“Often it is a long journey that take companies several years. But with the right contacts, the doors will open and everything can change”, Erik Dahlén, Innovation Advisor at Paper Province, explains.

Erik Dahlén connected Mycorena to LignoCity2.0, a project run by Research Institute of Sweden, Paper Province, Corporate Alliance in Kristinehamn and Karlstad University. It offers a unique work method called Go, (kanske “go!”?) which is made to shorten the way to the market.

“Mycorena are pioneers. They are the first to try our Go scale offer. It is the third and final package in the Go package and it is about scaling up your business. We have now taken a first step towards a realization plan for the Mycorena pilot- plant at LignoCity”, says Erik Dahlén.