Welcome to the first of our brand new video series; Topic Tuesday, brought to you by the Exilva Blog. Topic Tuesday is dedicated to one specific topic, providing you with information on cellulose fibrils straight from the top of our head. We'll kick it all of with a discussion about the importance of correct dispersion and how the effect of tip speed affects the end result.
Traveling around talking about cellulose fibrils for the past 6 years, has thought me an important lesson; always make sure that people understand how to disperse the fibrils sufficiently. This is really the main factor in gaining the key functionalities from the product. So how can you make sure that you are getting the most out of the cellulose fibrils when you are using it in your formulation? In this article I will give you some guidance and video tool on to how to get this right from the start.
I have been working with cellulose fibrils for over 6 years now, and every day there seems to be new opportunities for this product. It occurred to me the other day that my cleaning product at home contained fairly rough abrasives, enabling me to clean off dirt and stains. In the field of cleaning, this is called “agitation” and is part of the C-H-A-T cleaning formula: Chemical-Heat-Agitation-Time. Could this be something for cellulose fibrils? Let me share with you a couple of my thoughts on where the cellulose fibrils may give you some functionality.
Water soluble polymers have been used for decades, bringing various functionalities to a high number of applications. The reason for their popularity is the ability to being customized by changing molecular weight and molecular chain length, their high efficiency in use (especially the ones with high molecular weight), and their relatively simple handling. However, in certain cases polymeric viscosifiers fail to offer the needed performance and microfibrillated cellulose can offer exactly the desired properties.
As usual, the landscape of cellulose fibrils and nanocellulose is moving, with both academia and commercial producers introducing new concepts and products. This week, I picked up on two distinct stories which I found interesting; VTT in Finland has been working on 3D printing for wound care and decoration, while the Norwegian University of Science and Technology together with the University of Calgary is looking into how the nanocellulose can improve oil recovery rates.
As a new boy in the world of cellulose fibrils, I am steadily getting an overview of what potential users of cellulose fibrils are interested in. The unique combination of properties that cellulose fibrils has is the obvious point most are interested in. In addition, the natural and renewable aspect to the material and the possibility to replace oil-based chemicals is becoming more and more important. But could there be more than that?
You might have noticed how the air quality around us is changing constantly. Do you remember the last time that you have filled your lungs with fresh and clean air? Every day we are exposed to pollutants in the air we breathe - chemicals as well as fine particles - whether we are staying outdoors or indoors. This problem not only affects the people in developing countries, but the majority of the population on Earth.
2017 has been a year of record storms and hurricanes. In August and September, the hurricanes lined up in the Atlantic and entered into populated areas one after another. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the US reports that the statistics show an upward trend, also correlating to the size and magnitude of these hurricanes. The statistical data show uncertainties during the period from 1880s to 2016, but NOAA believes that the trend (based on research) shows a significant increase both in frequency and magnitude going forward. Why do I start my blog post on a nanocellulose blog with this? Well, because the link NOAA put between the Atlantic hurricane trends and global warming is obvious.
Have you heard the saying “Oil and water don’t mix”? This is a proverb said of things with such different natures that they cannot be combined. It is however not totally true since oil and water can be mixed into an emulsion. In many different industries such as cosmetics, pharma, paints, coatings, household products and many more, professionals mix different oils and water to create the desired performance of a product. They overcome the hurdle of “mixing” oil and water by using emulsifiers, surfactants and stabilizers. So how can MFC contribute?
Many household and industrial cleaners are strongly alkaline, highly acidic or contain oxidizing agents. This creates challenges when one would like thicken them or to have a gel formulation instead of the corresponding thin liquid version. In many cases, viscous, gel or foam formulations are preferred, as they ensure longer residence time on the vertical surfaces and are also safer to use as they are good at preventing any unwanted splashing. Today we will look at how MFC allows you to manufacture stable gel formulations at low to high pH as well as with oxidizing compounds, such as hydrogen peroxide.