Within the BIOECO-R.D.I. project, Slovenian project partner National Institute of Chemistry, has been working on developing the industrial process for production of nanocellulose and its promotion in the industry. The final success together with the industrial partner NAVITAS is the production of dry nanocellulose, which is a worldwide achievement since only one producer of such material is known.
NAVITAS can offer dried nanocrystalline cellulose in larger, kilogram quantities. They managed to upgrade their already innovative nanocellulose extraction process with a suitable industrial dryer and mill by drying and grinding their aqueous suspension of nanocrystalline cellulose to micrometer particles. Such a nanocellulose powder is then simply shaken into water and mixed vigorously – and an aqueous suspension of nanocellulose with all the basic properties is obtained.
Dry nanocellulose is suitable as reinforcement in polymer composites, adhesives and similar applications where water is disruptive in technological processes. The addition of even small amounts of nanocellulose can, according to scientific studies published so far, improve a whole range of mechanical properties by tens of percent. Because it is biodegradable, it will be especially welcome in biodegradable composites. Slovenian industry has the opportunity to improve the mechanical properties of its polymer composites (and other products) by using Slovenian dry nanocrystalline cellulose and easily outperform its competition.