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Signe Velina, Market Access Manager Latvia of Johnson & Johnson
Following the global trends in the circular economy, an industrial-level experimental laboratory for the extraction of betulin from birch bark is set up in the premises of Latvijas Finieris Chemical Products Factory in Riga.
Birch is one of the dominant tree species in Latvia, which, due to its mechanical properties, is especially suitable for the production of high-quality plywood. It is also one of the side streams of wood processing, which is traditionally used as a fuel in heat production. Looking for opportunities to add the highest value possible to forestry products, several years ago Latvijas Finieris in cooperation with the Latvian State Institute of Wood Chemistry started a laboratory research of betulin production possibilities within the framework of the Forest Industry Competence Center project. The results were promising and Latvijas Finieris took the next step by creating the technological base for industrial research.
Latvijas Finieris has invested more than 1 million euros in the industrial-level experimental laboratory, which is built in the premises of the Chemical Products Factory in Riga. The project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.
The goal of the project is to develop an industrial scale experimental laboratory and develop technology for production of different quality bark and betulin. Due to the unique properties of betulin it can be utilized in the food, cosmetics and even medical industries.
This laboratory will be a strong base for the future researches how to add higher value to birch bark, chips and other plywood production side products.
Latvijas Finieris aims at adding value to Latvia's natural capital and using resources in the most sustainable way.
We joined AmCham as a community of shared values to expand our access to global competencies and to foster the quality of the health ecosystem.
Agrita Kiopa, Vice Rector for Science, Riga Stradins University