Yokogawa Bio Frontier has initiated sales of 100% plant-derived sulfated cellulose nanofiber.
The company is initially providing samples to prospective customers, and will subsequently scale up production in preparation for the commercial sale of this highly versatile plant-derived S-CNF material to customers mainly in the chemical and materials industries.
Cellulose nanofiber is a fibrous biomass material that is derived from cellulose, an important structural component of plants. It is produced by extracting cellulose from materials such as wood pulp and defibrating it to form very fine nanosized fibers.
Companies in the materials industry have shown a great interest in cellulose nanofiber as it is a strong and lightweight material that is resistant to deformation when exposed to heat and provides a highly effective barrier against oxygen and other gases, and its production and disposal have a low environmental impact.
In addition to having the same characteristics as standard cellulose nanofiber, S-CNF in a gel form can be dried to produce a powdered substance that has approximately 1/100th the volume and weight of the gel. This powder costs significantly less to transport and store, and its physical properties can be restored by blending it with water.
By adjusting the blending ratio, the physical properties of the cellulose nanofiber can be altered to suit specific applications.
Furthermore, the process employed by Yokogawa Bio Frontier to break down fibers and produce S-CNF consumes less energy than other cellulose nanofiber production processes, and this is expected to make a significant contribution in reducing production costs.
Moving forward, Yokogawa Bio Frontier will work toward the commercial production of S-CNF and develop this business through the sale of this product and the licensing of its commercial production process principally to companies in the chemical and materials industries.
The company will also look into joint research and development activities with customers using S-CNF. Yokogawa Bio Frontier will strive to promote the widespread use of plant-derived materials that will lessen our dependence on fossil resources and contribute to the realization of a carbon-neutral society.