The commercial development of nanocellulose over the last few years has mainly been driven by the ever-increasing prices of petroleum and the high-energy intensity in production of chemicals and synthetic polymers. Today there is a substantial amount of research on nanostructured cellulose, and commercial development is now underway with some very promising applications. Utilizing the appropriate conversion and extraction technologies as well as modification and characterization, nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC), micro/nanofibrillar cellulose (MFC/NFC) and bacterial cellulose (BC) can be integrated into bio-based products.
Their use in novel materials and various applications potentially has substantial environmental and economic benefits. Nanocellulose can be produced from several raw materials and applying various pre-treatments and has great potential as a strength enhancer in paper, as additives in composites, in emulsions, as oxygen barriers for food packaging and in biomedical devices.
Nanocellulose is also being developed for novel use in applications ranging from scaffolds in tissue engineering, artificial skin and cartilage, wound healing and vessel substitutes to biodegradable food packaging. Applications in polymer reinforcement and anti-microbial films will be hitting the market soon. FP Innovations estimates the market to be worth $250 million in North America by 2020.
The Global Nanocellulose Market, fully updated and revised, including an additional 30 pages of contents features: