Future bioproducts are already produced in Raisio

Sustainable development is based on the wise use of resources. Oil-based products are disappearing as green products hit the markets. While oil is still a strong competitor due to its low price, new bio-based products are constantly entering the market. The government`s bioeconomy objectives are increasingly pushing companies to replace oil-based products with bio-based ones.

Smart Chemistry Park was established in the old Chemistry House at the Raisio industrial site. One of the oldest residents in the house is CH-Polymers, which originated from Raisio Chemicals. The business of the company is based on following the megatrends. In the end, responding to changing consumer habits requires the business to actively interact with the customer. Environmental friendliness and safety are examples of values that consumers nowadays cherish, and it is also these values that the business of CH-Polymers, a pioneer in the chemical industry, is based on.

Essi Suomento working in company`s laboratory in Raisio.

The company`s core competence lies in polymer dispersions, in which various functional monomers are engineered to give unique performance. The business is divided into three business sectors, which are the nonwoven, paper- and packaging, and paint units. The company`s binders are used in many applications, and various packages, bags, paints and industrial filters end up as finished products on store shelves.

New age of paper

The company employs about 50 people in the Raisio research centre and the production site in Kouvola. Paper and Packaging is the company`s biggest unit. Cardboard or paper surfaces covered with a barrier layer replace the polyethylene layer and make packaging environmentally friendly.

The introduction of the EU waste directive proposal would likewise increase the demand for barriers. According to the proposal, 75-% of multi-layer packages should be recyclable by 2030. This would further increase the value of the barrier solutions offered by CH-Polymers.

A forerunner in bioeconomy

Different kinds of special products, tailor-made to the needs of the customer, are manufactured in the Nonwoven unit. For example, technical filters, cleaning wipes­—, and construction material features, such as the removability of wallpaper, are a core know-how of CH-Polymers.  Most of the products are bio-based and safe to use in the food industry because of their low amount of formaldehyde.

A cleaner future

Even though the company`s core business is based on B2B commerce, the requirements for products and new solutions come from consumers. The cleanability properties of painted surfaces is really important for its usability. The Easy Clean innovation by CH-Polymers brings the improved easy-to-clean feature to painted walls, causing the surface to reject dirt as well as making it simple to clean. The toughest stains come from coffee and red wine, but in the product tests the company also uses beetroot, nicotine, soy sauce and cleansers.

Director of Paints and Coatings, Nonwoven and Specialties Tuija Andersson and Technical Sales Manager Sanna Salonen are watching Anna Kivikankare working.

”The Easy Clean product is sold to several European paint manufacturers. In the EU area, the needed paint requirements vary between the member states. Accordingly, we optimize the products to reach the needed result,” says the Head of Paint and Nonwoven units Tuija Andersson.

On the customer`s business

CH-Polymers has facilities fit for a large corporation. In 2010 the number of producers in the local paint market was reduced, opening the door for the company to enter the paint and coatings business area. This in turn resulted in CH-Polymers increasing its scope of equipment even further. The industrial infrastructure has enabled the company to specialise and develop customised solutions directly for the customers’ needs.

A culture of good service, speed and locality are the most important selling points for CH-Polymers on the international market, where large chemical companies are the competition. The company always engages in new product development projects regardless of the customer`s size, once the common goals have been agreed upon. Creating an environmentally friendly green solution is always a good starting point.

Text and pictures, Annika Myrsky