Wood, an abundant and renewable resource, is the source of many consumer products.
At its basic cellular level, the fibre in the wood is also the source of two new,
revolutionary forest bio-materials.
Known as cellulose filaments and cellulose nanocrystals, these materials are helping Canada’s
pulp and paper sector become more globally competitive.
Strong yet lightweight, cellulose nanocrystals and cellulose filaments
possess unique bonding properties.
These special characteristics allow these materials to be added to a range of everyday
products which in turn enhances the properties of these products.
Paint, for example, becomes more resistant to wear or scratches with the addition of
cellulose nanocrystals. It also becomes easier to apply.
The addition of cellulose filaments provides extra strength to facial tissues or paper towels,
allowing for improved absorption without sacrificing overall softness.
Various other materials such as plastics or textiles can be strengthened yet remain lightweight
with the addition of either of these two revolutionary bio-materials.
Through Natural Resources Canada, the Government of Canada has been investing in the research, testing,
production, and commercialization of cellulose nanocrystals and cellulose filaments.
This research has been led by FPInnovations, Canada’s national forest research institute,
in partnership with the provinces, the forest industry and universities.
Biomaterials have very unique properties. They have the potential to be used in a variety
of industries like the oil, cosmetics, pulp and paper, and construction industries.
Two separate Canadian pulp and paper mills are now producing sufficient quantities of
these bio-materials for further testing. This testing will allow various industries to determine
the best use for them in a range of commercial products.
Cellulose nanocrystals and cellulose filaments, two innovations helping to position Canada’s
forest sector at the forefront of the global bio-economy.