Integrated into the paper production process, FunCell’s BioWet and BioGraft solutions are based on bio-sourced additives.
BioWet, a solution designed by French start-up FunCell (Functionalization for Cellulosic Materials) is a bio-sourced additive developed for the paper industry. The solution provides cellulosic mediums with greater mechanical resistance, particularly in terms of water contact, while reducing the weight of the material by 20 to 30%.
This premium solution—BioWet replaces additives derived from fossil fuels—represents an additional cost that its inventors say is partly compensated by the reduction in weight and therefore the use of less material. This natural polymer is the fruit of a chemical reaction, which increases the overall mechanical performance of the paper, while other additives can only impact a single property, according to the company. Paper treated with BioWet can be recycled.
The startup has also developed another additive, BioGraft, which provides hydrophobicity and grease barrier qualities currently geared to the food industry. Other "on-demand" functionalities include virucide or bactericide properties for biomedical paper applications or the the addition of colorant that remains fixed in the paper fiber, without washing away in time.
Unlike the solution devised by fellow French player Cilkoa, BioWet and BioGraft additives are integrated directly into the paper manufacturing process. They can be also be applied to the surface of the paper.
Founded in 2020 by Gilles du Sordet along with Henri Sors, Julien Leguy and Laurent Heux, FunCell is the fruit of research from France’s Center for Research on Plant Macromolecules (Cermav-CNRS).