In the exiting field of microfibrillated cellulose new usage opportunities are constantly emerging. During the first quarter of 2016, we have seen many interesting new usage areas, and I will show you a selection of them in this article.
Is it possible to filter water with nanocellulose?
The Nano Select project (coordinated by the Luleå university) tested nanocellulose as a filtration aid to purify water from the industrial and public waterworks. This can, according to the researchers, have a positive health and environmental effect. They set up trials at a Spanish water treatment plant to scale up the tests, including the company Acondaqua Ingenieria del Aqua SL in the project. The results showed that the nanocellulose filters were able to filter paint residues in the textile and printing industries. It could also filter metal ions from the steel industry. This is for sure an interesting new application for nanocellulose as well as for the microfibrillated cellulose!
Latex condoms made out of nanocellulose?
Medical Daily writes about researchers at the University of Queensland, Australia, that has reveiled nanocellulose from spinifex grass and used it as an additive in latex. This increased flexibility of the latex and also made it possible to manufacture a much thinner membrane than that of its latex ancestor. The researchers hope to make a 30% thinner condom, which still fills the industry standards, from this material . The same material could be used also in latex gloves for precise work, for instance for surgeons. "The great thing about our nanocellulose is that it's a flexible nano-additive, so we can make a stronger and thinner membrane that is supple and flexible, which is the holy grail for natural rubber," said Professor Darren Martin in their press release.
Scion research centre and VTT enters into agreement
The New Zealand based research centre Scion has entered into a cooperation agreement with the Finnish technical research center VTT. The cooperation was started in order to boost development of biobased materials and the bioeconomy. The stated first project for the cooperation is to develop a biobased film for the packaging industry. They will further on investigate, among other things, nanocellulose applications. Find more details in the press release. For sure, new applications can be expected when these two institutes combine their forces.