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Nanocellulose-based composites

News International-French

10 Mar 2014

JEC Europe 2014 - The NanoCelluComp project aims to develop a novel process technology that utilises the high mechanical performance of cellulose nanofibres (obtained from sustainable food-processing waste streams), combined with bioderived matrix materials, for the manufacture of 100% bio-derived high-performance composite materials.

These would replace randomly-oriented and unidirectional glass and carbon fibre reinforced plastics in a range of applications, including transportation, wind turbines, biomedical, sport and consumer goods. This process technology will be compatible with existing composite manufacturing processes to facilitate industry uptake. Simultaneously, the project is assessing the sustainability of the process and materials in terms of life-cycle analysis (including environmental impacts) and costs compared to existing materials.

The new process technology includes two key stages:

  • liberation of cellulose nanofibres from vegetable food waste and combining the nanofibres with polysaccharides in a single process to form a 100% bio-composite; and

  • orientation of cellulose nanofibres and compounding the composite in a form easily usable for established technologies.

Ultimately, the outcomes will benefit industrial manufacturers that want to stay ahead of the regulatory curve on sustainability, while providing greater price stability of raw materials and improved performance at lower cost.

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