American Process granted nanocellulose patent
American Process, Inc. has received a patent for its BioPlus™ nanocellulose technology, U.S. Patent No. 9,187,865. This patent covers an AVAP® process for producing a nanocellulose material, as well as many downstream applications using the nanocellulose.
By Cindy Macdonald
The process includes fractionating a biomass feedstock with an acid, a solvent for lignin, and water, to generate cellulose-rich solids; and then mechanically treating the cellulose-rich solids with a relatively low amount of energy to form cellulose nanofibrils or nanocrystals.
The company says other patents are pending for the nanocellulose material and compositions that include the nanocellulose, as well as for other aspects of the technology, in the U.S., Brazil, Europe, Japan, China, India, Russia, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, and South Africa.
According to lead inventor Dr. Kim Nelson, “Nanocellulose has proven to be a versatile material with a vast array of potential commercial applications. With exceptionally low-cost commercial-scale production potential and flexibility in nanocellulose morphology and surface functionalization, API’s nanocellulose process has overcome the most significant barriers to commercialization for this 21st-century biomaterial.”
“Our BioPlus nanocellulose has conquered the major commercial barriers that have hitherto inhibited rapid market development. Specifically, BioPlus nanocellulose materials are cost-competitive with traditional materials; they can be produced as a powder and we have introduced novel lignin-coated nanocellulose, both crystals and fibrils, that are oleophilic and compatible with plastic applications. We are currently focusing development of market applications ranging from packaging to transportation light-weighting and rheological modifiers,” said Dr. Theodora Retsina, API’s CEO.
API’s AVAP technology is a flexible biorefinery platform to produce various chemicals, materials, sugars, fuels, and energy from lignocellulosic biomass.