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Nanocellulose Pilot Plant Inaugurated

01 March 2011

One of the world's first pilot plants to produce nanocellulose has been inaugurated by research company Innventia in Stockholm.

""With larger volumes, we can study the use of nanocellulose in applications that require more material,"" says Michael Ankerfors a Research Manager at Innventia. Innventia say that the facility makes it possible to produce nanocellulose on a large scale and is an important step towards the industrialisation of a new energy efficient manufacturing process.

Nanocellulose is derived from wood fibres and has exceptional strength characteristics whilst being completely renewable.

Previously, the production process was much too energy-consuming, for the commercialisation of nanocellulose to be conceivable, but due to the process developments carried out by Innventia, the energy consumption has been reduced by a total of 98%, representing a saving of 29 000 kWh per tonne. To give a comparison, the heating of a normal sized house takes approximately 18,000 kWh per year.

""For a long time, there's been a great deal of interest from the industry in utilising nanocellulose as a strengthening component in other materials, such as paper, composites and plastics,"" relates Mikael Ankerfors. We can also create new, more efficient and renewable barrier films for food packaging.

The new pilot plant is designed for a production at 100 kg per day.

""We can now make runs at our pilot paper machine. We now also have the opportunity to continue the development of the process and to show interested parties how it could work in reality. ""

The inauguration was attended by representatives from the industry as well as, public funders and participants in research related to nanocellulose. Besides looking at the new facility, the opportunity was offered to take a closer look at samples of nanocellulose and various examples of applications such as barrier films, textile fibers and nano-foams made from nano-cellulose.





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