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Initiatives to put nanocellulose on the market

Published 26/05/2016 by Anna Wiberg

The nanocellulose research field is changing and development is moving increasingly fast. For a long time the focus was on reducing energy consumption during manufacturing, but the focus is now on the applications. Nanocellulose is already available as a product on the market in both Europe and North America, and is being used as a reinforcing additive in the manufacture of paper and paperboard and as a viscosity agent in various industrial applications. The question is: How can high-performance materials be manufactured using nanocellulose? It’s a question of delivering the right quality at the right price, but also of having processes to manufacture at least some of all the exciting material concepts that are being developed right now at universities around the world.

At Innventia, we talk about Nanocellulose processing for various applications, which is also the title of a programme area within Innventia Research Programme 2015-2017. We are a strong team working on process development of nanocellulose-based products. 

In the issue 2/2016 of Innventia customer magazine Beyond, you will meet many of the key members of our team and gain an insight into the challenges we are trying to solve. Some projects are about industrial implementation, while others are at a low TRL (Technology Readiness Level) and aim to develop technology platforms for the manufacture of, for instance, advanced films or fibres, all in close partnership with industry and academia. We will also explain how we work on the characterisation of nanocellulose. This requires a common language to describe the material’s characteristics in order to be able to compare different types of nanocellulose and to ensure a consistent product quality. Within conducted research, we are developing our skills in using the powerful analysis techniques available at our synchrotron radiation facilities around Europe, both to get the full potential of the material, but also to understand which mechanisms are decisive when we manufacture our materials.

Although the area has taken a giant leap forward in the last ten years, we believe that the next decade will be even more exciting, a decade when we expect more progress in high-tech applications to be made. We hope that the transportable demonstration plant that is currently being built will serve as a facilitator for many of these new applications. Here at Innventia we are proud to be one of the leading players in this exciting field of innovation.

Anna Wiberg

Anna Wiberg is manager for the area Nanocellulose.