Montinutra, which turns sawmill and pulp mill side streams into new valuable ingredients, wins YITHackathon; Finnish startup's winning solution for dust control on gravel roads utilizes wood chips, providing no hazard to groundwater or environment

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Finland , November 21, 2022 (press release) –

Montinutra's solution for dust control on gravel roads is based on the use of forest industry side streams. The raw material is wood chips, which are refined in the process.

"The Hackathon concept is a great way to intensively develop ideas. Winning was partly surprising because the competition was tough. We look forward to working with YIT," says Technology Manager Pertti Tiitola from Montinutra.

The goal of YITHackathon was to help us find new ecological materials that effectively bind dust particles during the surface treatment of gravel roads or form a binding layer on the surface of the road. The materials were not allowed to be hazardous to groundwater or the environment. 

Gravel road dust binding is currently achieved with salts, the use of which is trying to be reduced due to their environmental impact. The salts used in road maintenance can additionally accelerate vehicle corrosion. As a result of climate change, gravel roads have become drier, leading to greater challenges related to dust on the roads. The need to treat the roads has also increased.

The final contestants of the innovation contest were Montinutra Oy, LignoSphere Company, Metsäväylä Oy, Ekopine Oy and Bang & Bonsomer Group Oy. The Hackathon was organised by the Jyväskylä University of Applied Science’s Bioeconomy Business Accelerator, BioPaavo, together with Kasvu Open. 

"The cooperation with BioPaavo and JAMK has gone very well. YITHackaton has surprised us positively and exceeded our expectations. This is the first project of this kind for us, and we have got a lot out of the cooperation with the help of competent and committed staff," says Timo Paavilainen, Technical Director of Maintenance at YIT.

The Bioeconomy Business Accelerator in Saarijärvi (BioPaavo) project is carried out by the Jyväskylä University of Applied Science’s Institute of Bioeconomy. The project is funded by the Central Finland Regional Council with the support of the EU Regional Development Fund as well as Sitra and the City of Saarijärvi.

Further information:
Jaakko Pajunen, Managing Director, Montonutra, tel +358 44 34 35 162, jaakko.pajunen(atsign)

Timo Paavilainen, Technical Director, Maintenance, YIT, tel. +358 40 0569 106, 
Annimari Lehtomäki, Chief Specialist, Institute of Bioeconomy, School of Technology, tel. +359 50 464 2563, 
Pirita Tiusanen, Business Partner, Group Communications, YIT Corporation, tel. +358 44 240 9822, 

YIT is the largest Finnish and a significant North European development and construction company. For 110 years, we have been creating better living environments for our customers: functional homes for sustainable living, future-proof public and commercial buildings and infrastructure for smoother flow of people, businesses and society. We employ 5,500 professionals in nine countries: Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. Our revenue in 2021 was EUR 2.7 billion. YIT Corporation's share is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Oy.

Montinutra is a startup valorizing saw and pulp mill side streams to new valuable ingredients. Sawmills produce millions of tons of sawdust and bark globally. The current commercial value of these side streams is low. Montinutra will add significant value by extracting valuable compounds from those low-value side streams. Montinutra is part of the Metsä Group CVC, Metsä Spring Oy, portfolio. For more information visit 

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