HKP, Alberta announce enhanced collaboration to develop CNC for commercial applications
By P&PC Staff
Dec. 6, 2016 - Hokuetsu Kishu Paper (HKP) says it is preparing to increase its collaboration with InnoTech Alberta and Alberta Innovates to further the development of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC), a green nanomaterial produced through the pulping process of its subsidiary Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries (Al-Pac).
By P&PC Staff
The 100 kg/week CNC pilot plant located at InnoTech Alberta in Edmonton, Alta., was commissioned in 2013 and since that time, “significant” progress has been made to refine technical processes, economic efficiencies, and approaches to develop new markets.
CNC is made by treating cellulose pulp fibres to isolate the crystalline portion of the fibre. According to the parties, CNC has demonstrated promise for a variety of applications, including modifying rheology in industrial fluids such as chemicals and coatings, increasing abrasion resistance, improving patient care through medical and health applications, in electronics and energy storage devices, and as a composite material to improve the performance of packaging materials.
“We are very pleased with the efforts of InnoTech Alberta and the support we have received from the Government of Alberta to date,” said Sekio Kishimoto, president and CEO of HKP, who met with Deron Bilous, the minister of economic development and trade, who visited Japan on his mission. “We believe in the development of sustainable green products to meet growing consumer demand and believe CNC has the potential to create new and enhanced markets for HKP.”
“Alberta recognizes the importance of our forest industry and in helping that sector make transformative investments into new and non-traditional markets and products. We are very happy to be partnered with HKP and Al-Pac in the development of CNC, and the strong leadership they are showing in diversifying the forest sector,” added Bilous.
Wholly owned by HKP, Canadian pulp producer Al-Pac has been working with Alberta Innovates since 2010. Al-Pac operates Canada’s newest and North America’s largest single-line bleached kraft pulp mill. It produces nearly 650,000 air dried metric tonnes of elemental-chlorine free pulp annually.