18 December 2018

GREENHOUSE USING PULP MILL WASTE WINS INNOVATION AWARD

Aalto University students have won Wood U Make It Happen?, the innovation contest run by the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.

They developed Relaps, an ecosystem which uses the waste heat and mineral streams generated in pulp mills in smart greenhouse farming.

students Mikko Niemelšinen and Milla-Mari Vastavuo think that Finland boasts extremely high-level knowhow in greenhouse technology and the forest industry, and that in the future these two areas can cooperate to create previously unseen opportunities for food production.

"We sought advice from experts in a range of sectors and put it all together. The circular economy philosophy is not new in the forest industry, but combining it with greenhouse production across the board is. You just have to dare to experiment and play with even the maddest of ideas, without preconceptions."

Timo Jaatinen, director general of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation, says the winning entry has good prospects and potential for being scaled up.

"An ecosystem like Relaps takes a fresh approach to food production and energy consumption. It tackles the challenges created by global megatrends, such as environmental problems and population growth, head on,"

The top three contestants were awarded on 4 December at Finnish Forest Industries Federationís centenary celebration, where one of the themes was renewal and looking to the future.

"Right now, the whole forest industry is looking for ways to produce more sustainable options for consumers. With their solutions, the contestants have shown that the future of the forest industry is already being built" said Jaatinen.