BioPlastek 2012: Nanocrystalline Cellulose Leads to Bio-Based Barrier and Engineering Resins

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Nanocrystalline cellulose is an advanced renewable material derived from biomass recently developed by Canada-based CelluForce Inc. When incorporated as a high-performance reinforcement additive to resins including bioplastics using CelluForce’s proprietary technology, mechanical and barrier properties are significantly improved. Production of the nanocrystalline cellulose has commenced in a demonstration plant. More on the performance-enhancing capabilities of the new material will be presented at the BioPlastek 2012 Forum on March 28-30 in Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Nanocrystalline Cellulose (NCC) significantly improves mechanical and barrier properties of thermoplastics and bio-based resins.

Nanocrystalline Cellulose (NCC) is an advanced renewable material derived from trees, or other biomass. Pulp material is milled and then hydrolyzed to remove amorphous regions. The resulting NCC is then separated and concentrated to create uniform, redispersible natural nanoparticles. When NCC is incorporated as a high-performance reinforcement additive to resins, their mechanical and barrier properties are significantly improved. The unique new NCC material was developed by Canada-based CelluForce, Inc, a joint venture between FPInnovations and Domtar, Inc.

NCC, in principle, is a recyclable and non-toxic nanomaterial. Using proprietary technology, CelluForce Inc. has succeeded in incorporating NCC into thermoplastics, such as polyolefins (e.g. PP and PE) and biopolymers (e.g. PLA, PHA). The resulting bio-based resins have significantly improved strength, durability and toughness, abrasion resistance, light resistance and permeability resistance to gases.

More on the performance-enhancing capabilities of the new NCC advanced material, especially with bio-based resins, will be detailed by CelluForce at the upcoming BioPlastek 2012 Forum. It will take place on March 28-30, 2012 at the Westin Arlington Gateway, in Arlington, Virginia, USA (Washington, DC vicinity).

Because of its high-crystallinity and large surface area, these attributes
help to explain the proficiency of NCC as a high-performance reinforcement and barrier enhancement material. NCC’s extraordinary properties improve prospects for reinforced bioplastics in recyclable interior and structural components for the automotive industry and in barrier packaging.

CelluForce Inc. has just completed construction of a demonstration plant with capacity to produce one ton per day of NCC, and production has commenced. Trials integrating NCC into the manufacturing process of different products are currently taking place.        

Hear more about how these remarkable performance-enhancing additives can open up new applications for bio-based resins by attending the BioPlastek 2012 Forum. Visit http://bioplastek.com for program, hotel, exhibit and registration details.

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Ron Schotland
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