The Government of British Columbia’s has contributed $2.25 million to cellulose filaments (CF) research. The investment will be used as part of an existing R&D program focused on non-traditional applications of cellulose filament (CF) that are of interest to, and most beneficial to B.C. – specifically for the province’s northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) pulp producers.
FPInnovations’ cellulose filament research and innovation project is the subject of investments to date totaling $43.1 million, including funding from Natural Resources Canada, through the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program, as well as a grant from the Québec Ministry of Natural Resources, a loan from Investissement Québec, a contribution from Kruger Inc. and funds from FPInnovations’ pulp, paper and bioproducts industry members.
“This announcement is a shining example of how collaboration and targeted investment in research and development can positively impact traditional markets while leading to the development of innovative new products,” said Pierre Lapointe, president and CEO of FPInnovations. “Cellulose filaments are set to become a key element in the transformation of the Canadian pulp and paper industry enabling the industry to gain a foot-hold in non-traditional markets while building on its existing manufacturing capacity in forest-dependent communities across B.C.”
An innovative wood-fibre based biomaterial, CF is expected to have an immediate impact on Canada’s forest industry due to its capacity to be integrated into other materials and to its high strength, light weight and flexibility, according to FPInnovations. CF may be used in a wide range of applications as a lightweight strengthening additive to produce lower cost commercial pulps, papers, packaging, tissues and towels. Looking to the future, CF may be combined with many materials to create high value products ranging from flexible packaging and films to structural and non-structural panels in building construction.
FPInnovations says Canada is now well-equipped to compete with global industries in the U.S., China, Finland, Brazil and Sweden to develop the next generation of cellulose-based bio-materials. FPInnovations has five patents on the process and product which, it says, secure the technology for the advantage of the Canadian industry while providing conditions to bring this game-changing technology to commercial reality.
The R&D organization says the potential initial market for CF as a strength reinforcing agent for traditional pulp and paper products is conservatively estimated at 125,000 tons per year in North America.
FPInnovations is a not-for-profit organization that specializes in the creation of scientific solutions in support of the Canadian forest sector’s global competitiveness.