Biomass to BioPlus™- Low Cost Nanocellulose Composites for Light Weighting

K. Nelson
American Process, Inc.,
United States

Keywords: cellulose

Summary:

Nanocellulose is a versatile material with a vast array of commercial applications including composites and foams for automotive, aerospace, and building construction, viscosity modifiers for cosmetics and oil drilling fluids, and high performance fillers for paper, packaging, paints, and plastics. Nanocellulose is renewable, biodegradable, biocompatible and as strong as Kevlar™. Reuter’s recently named nanocellulose as one of ten innovations that will transform the world by 2025. The US USDA estimates that global production of nanocellulose could reach 34 million tons per year in the coming decades. Due to unique chemical and physical properties including high strength and stiffness and low density, nanocellulose is anticipated to play an important role in the dematerialization, or light weighting, of materials. During the last one hundred years, global population quadrupled and global materials use increased 8-fold. With a projected population growth of 30–40% by 2050 and ever increasing global economic development, another sharp rise in global material extraction is anticipated unless light weighting initiatives continue across various materials sectors. Low cost nanocellulose has been shown to dramatically increase the strength of various materials including conventional and biodegradable plastics, polyurethane foams, and cement. By increasing the strength of these materials, less material can be used for equivalent performance. “Doing more with less” allows reduction in product costs and environmental footprint. American Process Inc. (API) is the world’s first company to produce and sell six different varieties of nanocellulose products with tailored morphologies and surface properties to enhance the performance of a wide variety of materials across various industries. API’s BioPlus™ nanocellulose products ae manufactured using a low cost, patented process that is demonstrated at their fully-integrated Thomaston Biorefinery plant along with lignocellulosic sugars, fuels and chemicals co-products.