World’s first NanoCrystal plant opens in Quebec
Dec 12, 2011, Montreal - CelluForce announced today that the Domtar-FPInnovations joint venture has completed the construction phase and is starting operations at the first manufacturing plant for NanoCrystalline Cellulose (NCC) in the world.
By Scott Jamieson
Recyclable and renewable, NanoCrystalline Cellulose (NCC) is an advanced
material derived from wood fibre that improves strength, durability and
toughness. This high-value nanomaterial is capable of transforming the
performance of existing products and creating new, unique and improved
products for numerous industrial sectors.
For the last eight weeks, CelluForce has been progressively starting up
the equipment for the first ever large-scale production of NCC. The
nanomaterial will be produced in state-of-the-art facilities located at
Domtar's pulp and paper plant in Windsor, Quebec. Construction extended
over a fourteen-month period. It required a total investment of $36M
including the financial participation of both the Federal and Québec
governments. The company is particularly pleased to have completed
construction phase on time.
CelluForce President and CEO Jean Moreau declared, "Wood pulp is being
delivered to the plant to test the new equipment and we are making
progress on a daily basis. NCC will start to be produced by the end of
the year, with production gradually increasing until it reaches a
steady rhythm of 1,000 kg per day in 2012".
As Rene Goguen, vice-president, Manufacturing for CelluForce, explained,
"The rapid advances made in testing stages bear testimony to the hard
work, devotion and expertise of our employees. We are all proud to be
participating in this project and very conscious of the fact that it is
a world first. The 25 operations personnel of this young company,
who were already experienced employees at Domtar, a partner in
CelluForce, started work last June. They went through an intensive
training session to ensure they were ready to start up the specialized
equipment, most of which was custom-built specifically for the
manufacture of NCC.
Recyclable and renewable, NanoCrystalline Cellulose improves strength,
durability and toughness, and can reduce damage caused by wear,
abrasion and light. This nanomaterial can also be incorporated into
systems to make structures that are light reflective (tunable from
ultraviolet to infrared), impermeable to gas and stable over time. The
remarkable properties of this advanced material derived from wood fibre
will lead to commercial applications largely exceeding those of
traditional wood fibre products. A high-value nanomaterial, NCC is
capable of transforming the performance of existing products and
creating new unique and improved products for numerous industrial
CelluForce will, on a worldwide basis, market NanoCrystalline Cellulose
for strength applications under the CelluForce Impact™ brand, and for
optical applications of NCC under the CelluForce Allure™ brand.
Trials integrating NanoCrystalline Cellulose into the manufacturing
process of different products are currently taking place with a variety
of potential partners and CelluForce should be in a position to
announce the signing of its initial contracts shortly..
CelluForce is a joint venture of Domtar Corporation and FPInnovations
and has been created to manufacture, market and sell NanoCyrstalline
Cellulose (NCC) in the first plant of its kind in the world, located in
Windsor, Quebec. Backed by a patented process, CelluForce develops and
markets new applications linked to NanoCrystalline Cellulose. The
company currently has a workforce of 30 employees and its head office
is in Montreal.