Innomost and Merius make pioneering plant design to construct a pilot plant producing biocompounds from birch bark

Innomost and Merius make pioneering plant design to construct a pilot plant producing biocompounds from birch bark


Innomost Oy and Merius Oy have signed an agreement to plan and lead a construction project to build a pilot plant in Kokkola. To fulfil the project, the companies use groundbreaking methods that are based on 3D visualization and digitalization. The pilot plant is used for upcycling valuable birch bark compounds to replace environmentally harmful ingredients in products from cosmetics to pharmaceuticals.

Kokkola, Finland (October 26th, 2021)  Finnish pioneer in upcycling, Innomost and Merius, pioneer in factory design, will together plan and construct a pilot plant in their hometown of Kokkola. This way two forerunners join their knowledge to enable a new generation of sustainable ingredients.

At the end of summer Innomost completed a funding round of 5 million euros to replace palm oil and fossil fuel -based ingredients with Finnish birch. The main aim of the funding, which was previously announced on 10th of August in 2021, was to build a pilot plant. Innomost develops and produces high-quality bioactive compounds out of side streams from the forest industry. Valuable compounds are made of lower value side streams by upcycling, with additional benefit of low carbon footprint.

“By replacing fossil and palm oil -based ingredients with wooden side streams, we can do our part in slowing down climate change. Looking globally our pilot plant is a small, but very important step towards production of sustainable ingredients in large volumes,” says Sami Selkälä, Founder and CEO of Innomost.

“It was important to find the right partner for our project. We paid attention to the open-minded and practical approach Merius had. Eventually we chose Merius because of their unique and revolutionary way of carrying out industrial design in an agile and efficient way with high quality; now we simply get more using less. At the same time, we will make a huge step into the digitalized 3D world of design,” Selkälä continues. During planning, challenges are solved at an early stage and the details are made easily understandable. This will help all stakeholders during construction phase and later the operating personnel to grasp the bigger picture fast.

Merius is an engineering consultancy, that emphasizes understanding the bigger picture with the help of 3D-visualization and digital communication. The factory design process starts with building a 3D model of the site with the help of laser scanning and drone mapping. These are then combined with the technical design to a virtual reality. With a strong visualized communication and digitalization Merius makes sure, that the project team is at the same level throughout the project.

”Merius means more” summarizes Hannu Sarja, Founder and CEO of Merius. “Cooperation with Innomost is important for us. We have always been among the first to use new technology and now we show direction for upcycling within bioeconomy. We are excited about this cooperation and the unique opportunity to show our strengths within a new industrial branch,” Sarja continues.

The pilot plant will be ready by the end of 2022 with a capacity of 20 tons of birch bark products per year. Innomost’s current product portfolio consists of birch charcoal powder, birch bark powder, betulin, suberin and azelaic acid. These ingredients are perfect for innovation in all cosmetic product categories including skincare, haircare, body care, decorative cosmetics, and oral care.

For additional information:

Sami Selkälä

Founder and CEO, Innomost Oy

+358 50 340 9978