Biorefineries research group lead by Prof. Herbert Sixta focuses on the fractionation of lignocellulosic raw materials into its polymeric and non-polymeric constituents and developing new routes for their chemical and biochemical conversion into high-value added products.

Research themes

Biomass fractionation

Chemical pulping refineries

Air bath digester (Photo: Anni Hanén)

We investigate radically new energy and resource efficient production technologiesfor chemical pulping, e.g. Kraft-Oxygen Delignification (KrOxy) process and new dissolving pulp technologies.


Novel fractionation processes

Biomass fractionation using gamma-valerolactone (GVL) (Photo: Anni Hanén)

Our research group develops novel biomass fractionation processes based on the utilization of supercritical water and green solvents, e.g. gamma-valerolactone (GVL).


Biomass valorisation

Man-made cellulose fibers

Spinning of IONCELL-F fibers (Photo: Anni Hanén)

The IONCELL-F process is a green, non-toxic and environmentally friendly technology for the production of textile fibers from wood, recycled cardboard or waste cotton utilizing an ionic liquid. Read more about IONCELL-F.

All-cellulose composites


ALL-CELL stands for new fully biobased, ultra-light to ultra-strong, all-cellulose composites produced via green processing. Read more about the ALL-CELL project lead by Prof. Tatiana Budtova.

Hemicellulose valorisation

Catalytic hemicellulose valorisation (Photo: Anni Hanén)

Our research topics include the valorisation of xylan from alkaline extractions, production of xylo-oligosaccharides and catalytic conversion of biomass-derived sugars into furans.

Lignin valorisation

Lignin as a natural dye in textiles

Lignin is an interesting biomass component which can be converted into valuable products such as bio-oil. Lignin-cellulose blends can be used e.g. as precursor fibers for carbon fibers, or as natural dye in textiles.


Examples of ongoing research projects



See the list of publications.



The Ioncell-F process was granted the Global Change Award 2015 by the H&M Conscious Foundation and the Paper Recycling Award 2015 of the European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC).


Contact information

Herbert Sixta.jpg

Herbert Sixta
Professor, Head of the Department
herbert.sixta [at] aalto [dot] fi

Team members

Visiting address
Vuorimiehentie 1
FI-02150 Espoo

Postal address
Po. Box 16300
FI-00076 Aalto

Page content by: | Last updated: 02.02.2017.