Scaling up of nanocellulose production

To find a technical-economical solution that allows the scale up in nanocellulose production, overcoming the current problems like very low capacity per production unit, extremely high amounts of energy needed per ton of product and others.

The initial works about Nanocelulose were presented by Turbak et Al., in the 80´s. Because of that Nanocellulose must be considered as a recent technological advance. A product to be considered as Nano must have one of his dimensions in Nano metric scale. Starting with a base material, cellulose fiber, with dimensions in millimeters (length) and microns (thickness) we want to find a product in Nano metric scale. We can consider mainly two different products Nanocellulose based: - Nano Crystalline Cellulose, CNC; based on the removal of the amorphous part of the cellulose with acid. Theoretically the potential strength of this material is very high. However, production costs are very expensive because of the raw material removal by chemical reaction; high energy consumption needed and important environmental problems. - Nano fibrillated cellulose, NFC; Micro fibrillated cellulose, MFC; Based on the controlled abrasion of the fiber surface, fibrils are separated by mechanical forces. High energy cost. Current production methods are highly inefficient because of: - Intensive energy consumption, in the level of MWh/ton - Feeding and operation concentrations are very low: between 1-2 % (4% can be achieved) - The number of equipment’s to be installed, even for a low production, is very high. They must be placed serially because the material must be processed few times depending of the final quality (Production line). In order to get a certain production amount different production lines must be placed in parallel. The cost of investment is extremely expensive. Current production units are really pilot or semi-pilot installations with production levels below 1,000 tons/year. The largest capacities are in the range of 1 – 3 dry tons/day of 100% nanocellulose (CNC, NFC, MFC). The main scope of the project is to develop a process to be able to produce very high amounts of NFC and MFC, with a similar quality that we are able currently to produce in pilot / laboratory scale, and with a lower energy cost.
Project ID: 
11 714
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
2 100 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Paper technology
Market Area: 
Other industrial process machinery for textile, paper and other industries

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.