Canadian Biomass Magazine

New research facilities for nanocellulose

June 2, 2011
By FPInnovations

June 2, 2011, Pointe-Claire, QC – FPInnovations is pleased to announce the inauguration of its new NanoCrystalline Cellulose research facilities.

June 2, 2011, Pointe-Claire, QC –
FPInnovations is pleased to announce the inauguration of its new
NanoCrystalline Cellulose (NCC) research facilities, which consist of a
state-of-the-art pilot plant, new high-performance equipment for the Quebec
City laboratory, and two new research laboratories located at Pointe-Claire.

The Pointe-Claire laboratories are
dedicated primarily to NCC chemistry, as well as to NCC and nanocomposites
characterization. The new laboratory equipment in Quebec City is being used in
the development of advanced wood materials in the appearance, structural, and
composite wood products sector.

The cost of facility construction and
research equipment acquisition amounts to $4.1 million. This investment has
been supported by the Ministère du Développement économique de l'Innovation et
de l'Exportation du Québec for 80% of the expenses, and Natural Resources
Canada for 20% under its Transformative Technologies Program (TT). The project
will make it possible to retain 11 full-time scientists and technicians
dedicated to NCC research.

The pilot plant has a production capacity
of 3 kg/day. Automatic control measures for the equipment and prevention
measures have been put in place to enhance product standardization and to
respect the applicable health and safety standards.


The main advantages associated with the new
facilities include:

  • The production of NCC in sufficient
    quantities, allowing for better response to the ever-increasing demand from
    FPInnovations research groups, external groups such as universities and
    research networks and centres, and companies;
  • The development of new grades of NCC
    beyond the 10 or so that have already been identified;
  • The scaling up of NCC modification
  • Collaboration with the
    Domtar-FPInnovations joint venture to pave the way for NCC commercialization.

"Forthcoming R&D projects in these
innovative facilities will build on Québec's leadership in the forest
nanotechnologies sector and open the door to high-potential markets for
Québec's wood industry,” says Geoffrey Kelley, member for Jacques-Cartier and
minister responsible for Native affairs.

"Emerging technologies such as
nanocrystalline cellulose hold the potential to transform the forest sector and
create new, high-value opportunities in global markets,” says Joe Oliver,
minister of natural resources. “The government of Canada's investment in this
project will help build on Canadian leadership in the commercialization of this
exciting technology."

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