Sustainable Fiber Technologies

Sustainable Fiber Technologies specializes in sustainable, environmentally friendly non-wood pulping.  This technology uses agricultural residue as well as fiber specific crops as the raw material to make pulp for sustainable papers and packaging, and a byproduct that can be biopolymers, fertilizer, and other natural products.

Sustainable Fiber Technology’s goal is to create solutions for a more sustainable future using less chemicals and energy than traditional manufacturing methods.

What is Non-Wood Pulp?

Most paper is a mixture of different types of pulp, each giving different characteristics. Wheat Straw pulp from the Phoenix Process™ has physical characteristics that are comparable to hardwood and superior to recycled fiber. Other characteristics include:

  • Slightly longer fiber than the majority of hardwood pulps
  • Superior strength characteristics vs hardwood
  • Superior strength properties to non-wood pulp from other processes
  • Lower coarseness compared to non-wood pulp from other processes
  • Certified non-wood product
  • End use target markets are molded fiber products, consumer products (towel & tissue), packaging and printing and writing grades


  • License Phoenix Process
  • Consulting
  • Improve packaging sustainability
  • Removing chemicals harmful to the environment
  • Two Ton per day Pilot Plant
  • Lignin Lab
  • Process Engineering

In The News:

AB InBev & SFT Corona Six-Pack Project Named as a Finalist at 2022 Sustainability Awards  

The Corona six-pack holder made from residual barley straw is in the running for the Packaging Europe 2022 Sustainability Award in the (Renewables (pre-commercialized) category. Read More Here

In The News:

AB InBev #1 on the 2022 list of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in North America.  

Partnering with Sustainable Fiber Technologies, AB InBev employed barley straw to make new six-pack boxes for Corona, paying farmers for what had been previously an unused by-product of growing barley seed. AB InBev plans to produce 20,000 tons of soluble fiber over the next seven years. Read More Here

In The News:

Alternative Fibers in the Tissue and Towel Industry

While pulp and paper manufacturers have long considered themselves part of a sustainable industry due to their use of virgin fibers and recycled paper, they are feeling various impacts as consumers and governments increase pressure on businesses in all industries to reduce their environmental impact. Read More Here
Sustainable Fiber Technologies

In The News:

Essity – Sustainable Development Goals

SFT partnered with Essity, a global company providing products and services to hundreds of millions of people every day, to develop products and solutions for a circular society, to be part of a new system where nothing goes to waste.

Turning Wheat Straw into Tissue

Almost half the world’s wheat straw goes to waste, so Essity is closing the loop and turning the agricultural byproduct into high-quality paper products.

Mannheim Pulp Mill: Time Lapse

The new pulp mill was built in record time. It will go into operation just 18 months after the groundbreaking ceremony in May 2020.

In The News:

2021 Innovation of the Year Award

Accord Carton Company
Corona Extra South America – Circular Packaging

For three years, Corona Extra’s parent company, AB InBev, worked alongside their partner, Sustainable Fiber Technologies, to hone and create a new process for turning fragile straw into a durable fiber that could be used to make paperboard. During the testing phase, the cartons miraculously withstood being bent, torn, pulled, dropped, vibrated, and drenched in water, proving that barley straw has what it takes to be a durable and sustainable substrate.

See the story behind this partnership here.


  • There is significantly more agricultural biomass available than wood biomass (3X’s more in North America)
  • A Columbia Pulp sized mill producing 400 tpd using wheat straw replaces over 300,000 tons per year of wood chips or between 40 & 50,000 trees per year (depending on tree size and specie)
  • Utilization of wheat straw results in 100,000 fewer farm acres burned (plus reduction in forest slash piles burned)
  • The process used by the Phoenix Process is a milder technology resulting in a higher yield of fiber. It takes 1.54 tons of straw to produce a ton of pulp compared to almost 2 tons of wood fiber to produce a ton of pulp
  • Economic impact on an agricultural community will result in 110 direct jobs and another 250-300 indirect jobs

In The News:

Sustainable Packaging Technology

SFT partnered with Anhauser-Busch InBev on an innovative circular process that repurposes surplus barley straw into packaging material.
View on YouTube here
(age restrictions require viewing from YouTube.)


The Phoenix Process™ Coproduct is a lignin, hemicellulose, and mineral rich liquid stream that is derived from the nonwood biomass used in the process. The Coproduct contains no added sulfur or anthraquinone, and is water soluble at neutral conditions. The Coproduct applications include:

  • Dust abatement and soil stabilization
  • Corrosion inhibitors for deicers
  • Agricultural fertilizers and adjuvants
  • Animal feed
  • Binders
  • Cement and asphalt additives
  • Specialty chemicals and biopolymers

Here’s an example of the Phoenix Process™ Coproduct in use for dust abatement:

In The News:

Mark Lewis named 2020 winner of the prestigious Gunnar Nicholson Gold Medal Award

Lewis founded SFT, based in Renton, Wash., in 2015. Under his guidance, the company developed the Phoenix Process™, an environmentally friendly method for pulping non-wood biomass materials. The Phoenix Process has been licensed by a number of facilities including Fortune 100 companies, and is used in the production of sustainable packaging, molded products, tissue and toweling, printing and writing paper.

The Gunnar Nicholson Gold Medal Award is sponsored by TAPPI (Technical Association of Pulp and Paper Industry) and is the highest honor that the Association can bestow upon an individual.

Mark Lewis, CEO Sustainable Fiber Technologies, 2020 Gunnar Nicholson Gold Medal Award Winner