Sustainable cellulose nano-fibers reinforce materials
By joining forces, Sappi and Maastricht University are developing a new and environmentally friendly production technology for plastics with new properties.
Because of its versatility, wood has been a proven raw material for centuries, even during – but also after – the fossil age. The properties of wood are based on a complex structure, the components of which are not only used as an ensemble but also individually. By joining forces, Sappi and Maastricht University are developing a new and environmentally friendly production technology for plastics with new properties. The technology makes optimum use of the versatility of water to optimally mix cellulose nanofibres, the smallest structural building blocks of cellulose, into nylons. Analysis of the developed knowledge, processes and products offers Sappi a sustainable market position and economic growth.
In the first half year of the LIFT project “Cellulose nanofibres to strengthen sustainable materials” researchers from Sappi and Maastricht University obtained fundamental insight through molecular and morphological spectroscopy into the manipulation of the behavior of water to open up the hierarchical structure of cellulose fibres and “free” the elementary nanofibres. This acquired knowledge is the first step towards a unique, sustainable and safe process of nano-cellulose-enhanced Nylon materials in which the unique nano-properties at product level are expressed.