Small but mighty, nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) is a nano-sized building block derived from the micro and macro fibrils that make up wood. Thanks to recent advances in technology, fibrils can be extracted from the cell walls of wood fibers to produce a renewable biomaterial with a low carbon footprint and a wide range of potential applications.
The extracted fibrils can be integrated into commercial and consumer products from many industries, including transportation, construction and energy, increasing the products’ performance, notably in terms of strength and durability. The integration of NFC will result in lighter-weight, more fuel-efficient vehicles, more resilient coatings and stronger concrete, and numerous other enhancements.
Details on the many applications of NFC can be found on the new website of Performance BioFilaments, a joint venture established in 2014 by Resolute and Mercer International. Performance BioFilaments is developing non-traditional applications for NFC (known as cellulose filaments) and commercializing novel bio-products. The website was launched in conjunction with Resolute’s January 15 announcement of the construction of a commercial cellulose filaments plant at our Kénogami (Quebec) paper mill. The $27 million project is slated for completion in 2021, and will create 23 new jobs once the plant reaches its full production capacity of 21 metric tons per day. Performance BioFilaments is working with Resolute to help bring NFC to global markets.
As illustrated in the graphic below, the primary input material for NFC is pulp made from sustainably harvested wood. Wood fiber is made up of three components – hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin. NFC is extracted from high purity, lignin free, wood fiber using a mechanical, chemical-free process. The extraction technology was developed by FPInnovations, one of Canada’s largest scientific forest product research and development centers, of which Resolute is a member.
To learn more about this high-potential biomaterial, please visit Performance BioFilaments’ website.