ORNSKOLDSVIK, Sweden , Feb. 9, 2017 (Press Release) -With the aim to establish production of crystalline nanocellulose (CNC), a project will be started for development of the test bed TinyBTalented and new applications on a large scale. With a budget of 8 million SEK, the project also aims to establish working methods for future application development. Processum will be acting as project leader for this project with many participants, i.e. Holmen, Melodea, Mid Sweden University, MoRe Research, Organofuel, RISE Chemistry, Materials and Surfaces as well as S2Medical, SEKAB E-Technology and Tetra Pak.
This is a four year project ending in November 2020. Vinnova, Sweden’s innovation agency, contributes to TinyBTalented with 3.6 million SEK and the participants with 4.4 million SEK. De participants will either together or separately be working with four application areas. These are: CNC in flat shaped materials, in wound dressings, as strength additive in multi-layer materials and for functionalization of gas and fluid barriers. The project also has a stakeholder council consisting of yet more companies and universities.
At present a pilot plant for production of crystalline nanocellulose, CNC, is being built in Örnsköldsvik in northern Sweden. The pilot is a very important part of the project. This plant will be the first of its kind in Europe and is an important step to make it possible for interested parties to develop CNC from cellulose based material on a large scale. CNC has many interesting material characteristics and can be used as e.g. construction material, biocomposites, printed electronics and paint additives.
"It is really exciting that we and our project partners at this site have been given the trust to act as platform for development of a new generation biobased materials", says Emma Johansson, R&D engineer at Processum and project leader for TinyBTalented. "We have an integrated infrastructure for biorefinery development with capability and competence to demonstrate whole or parts of process lines from raw material to finished product on pilot as well as demonstration scale. It is an excellent basis for development of crystalline nanocellulose. The TinyBTalented structure also makes it possible to establish working methods for sustainable future application development."
"Since it was decided to build a pilot for crystalline nanocellulose here in Örnsköldsvik we have started several projects for development of crystalline nanocellulose applications", says Anna Svedberg, responsible for development and marketing at MoRe Research. "We cooperate with e.g. KTH, Wallenberg Wood Science Centre and Mid Sweden University. This means that TinyBTalented suits our development of nanocellulose and we see the project as an important and necessary step in the development of this material for the future to its fullest potential."
"The establishment of the test bed TinyBTalented for nanocrystalline cellulose enables upscaling of techniques, accelerates development of applications and is considered having a good potential to replace a number of fossil products with new materials based on CNC", says Moa Eklund, Vinnova. "The plant which is being built is also a complement to already established infrastructure within the biorefinery area in Örnsköldsvik, making it possible to create synergies and the test bed reinforces the partners’ test and demo offers. The plant is also considered as having a potential to attract several international customers. Vinnova also considers it positive that the test bed is part of a major investment in CNC in Örnsköldsvik with a lot of competence built up in several investments".