Silphiefiber.

Silphie fibers are high-quality natural fibers that are sourced from the cascading value created by the silphium plant. The silphium plant is an energy crop that is cultivated in Germany to produce biogas.

Regional resource

Previously, silphium was used in its entirety to generate energy. Now, by focusing on cascading use, we also enable the fibers to be used as a raw material. Prior to bioenergy production, the fibers are separated using a biothermal procedure and are processed into a new, locally grown and sustainable raw material. And with zero chemicals. Just a small amount of water and energy are used. The remaining parts of the plant are fed into the biogas plant as a fermentation substrate.

Year-round availability

Silphium is a perennial energy crop. It is harvested in the fall, chopped and preserved using an ensiling process to produce silage that can be used year-round as an input for treatment as fibrous material. By using regional material streams we cut transport routes and are no longer dependent on highly volatile global pulp markets.

One fiber– myriad possibilities.

Product portfolio

SE S2 fiber

Silphie fibers are natural fibers that are extracted from the silphium plant by means of thermal hydrolysis. They serve as a new raw material for fiber-based products. Additional treatment, such as milling, can adapt the fibers to customers’ specific needs and ensure optimal functionality in downstream processing.

Examples of use

Paper

Silphie fibers can be used as an alternative fibrous material in paper production. The fibers themselves form hydrogen bonds, which enables stable sheet formation. The finished product features a good strength value thanks to the binding properties of the fibers and their high volume. Depending on the intended use, they can be mixed with other virgin fibers and with recycled paper.

Fiber molding applications

Silphie fibers are a natural fibrous material that can also be used for the precision manufacture of molded fiber parts. Virgin fibers are particularly suitable for use in direct contact with food. The potential applications across numerous products and sectors are endless.

Natural fiber-reinforced plastics

Silphie fibers can also be used in natural fiber-reinforced plastics. As locally sourced natural fibers, they can be combined with petrochemical-derived plastics or bioplastics to produce biocomposites.

Other ideas?

We are convinced that our silphie fibers can be used efficiently in a wide range of other fields, and we are always looking for new areas of application. Do you have your own ideas about where silphie fibers can be put to use? Let us know!

Eco-friendly fibers

The Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology (UMSICHT) examined the potential environmental impact of silphium-based paper and fibers and compared this with virgin fiber-based conventional pulp and packaging paper produced in Europe (data source: ecoinvent). The environmental impact of silphie fiber production is lower than that of cellulose fiber production, particularly in terms of energy and water use.

The environmental impact of silphie fibers is far less than that of pulp. Silphie paper also features a host of environmental benefits that set it apart from pulp-based board: less fresh-water eutrophication, ozone depletion and smog buildup, more environmentally friendly use of mineral and metal resources, and an improvement in land use thanks to the silphium plant’s high crop yields per hectare.

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Sales contact

Feel free to get in touch! We are more than happy to answer your questions.

Your contact Julian Pflieger

Key Account Manager Fiber

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Supportinglocal agriculture

Our silphie fibers are produced locally right next to biogas plants. This supports rural areas, increasing regional value creation thanks to innovative bioeconomic solutions and safeguarding and creating jobs. By giving value to what was previously a by-product of biomass creation and processing and turning it into a raw material, we are simultaneously generating a new source of income for biogas plant operators. This boosts the profitability of biogas plants and secures their continued existence and the supply of renewables even after funding under the German Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) expires.

Silphie pioneers

Our pilot location for fiber processing is in Hahnennest, close to Lake Constance, where four farmers work together to operate a biogas plant. For years now, Hahnennest Energy Park has been using silphium plants to generate energy and has built up a reputation in the industry by marketing silphium seeds. Our joint project benefits from the pioneers’ accumulated expertise in all things silphium. Together, we are working to continuously refine the concept.

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