RM-3 Episode Four: Logs Revisited

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By Dwell
We chat with the founder and CEO of Spinnova, a Finnish company turning wood pulp into cellulose fibers that can then be used in textiles, insulation, filling—even hygienic wipes.

To mark the March/April issue of Dwell Magazine and its focus on material innovation, we interview Janne Poranen, the cofounder and CEO of Spinnova, which processes wood pulp into textile fibers in the forests of Jyväskylä, Finland. The production uses zero harmful chemicals and produces zero waste—and the fibers can be reused without losing any quality. 

Tune in to hear how a talk on spider silk inspired Poranen and his business partner Juha Salmela—and how the concept of the adjacent possible works to stoke innovation across disciplines.

CEO Janne Poranen and his business partner, Juha Salmela, were inspired by a talk on spider silk to create a patented nozzle that turns wood pulp and other biowaste into microfibers.

CEO Janne Poranen and his business partner, Juha Salmela, were inspired by a talk on spider silk to create a patented nozzle that turns wood pulp and other biowaste into microfibers.

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Products made of Spinnova fibers can be fed back into the pulping process to be turned back into reusable microfibrillated cellulose—without sacrificing quality.

Products made of Spinnova fibers can be fed back into the pulping process to be turned back into reusable microfibrillated cellulose—without sacrificing quality.

Spinnova plans to dramatically scale up their operation in the coming years, eventually locating the spinning operations and the cellulose processing operations in the same facility.

Spinnova plans to dramatically scale up their operation in the coming years, eventually locating the spinning operations and the cellulose processing operations in the same facility.

"Besides wood pulp, we are able to use some other raw materials, like agricultural waste—for example wheat, sugar beets, or potato peels," says Poranen.

"Besides wood pulp, we are able to use some other raw materials, like agricultural waste—for example wheat, sugar beets, or potato peels," says Poranen.

Compared to cotton fibers, the production of wood-pulp fiber uses 99 percent less water, and omits harmful chemicals.

Compared to cotton fibers, the production of wood-pulp fiber uses 99 percent less water, and omits harmful chemicals.

RM-3 is produced by Jenny Xie, edited by Laura Spencer-Morris, and hosted by Dan Maginn. Our theme music is by Slag Ralden, with additional scoring by Hyps. Special thanks to Janne Poranen and Spinnova, to Stuart Kauffman for the concept of the adjacent possible, to Steven Johnson and Matt Ridley for connecting it to innovation, and to Ann Willoughby at TG&Y.