Foam Formed Micro-Fibrillated Cellulose Material Production and Applications, Dr. James Olson

The transformation to a bioeconomy is an inevitable central component of the world’s climate change solution.  This transformation will be driven through regulation (e.g., carbon pricing) or through oil supply depletion or through market demand.  In the case of the forest industry, structurally declining market demand for traditional printing and writing papers and the increased demand for renewable materials makes near-term transformation essential to its success.

This highest value bioproducts are advanced functional fibre materials that leverage the natural diversity and complexity of biomass.  These high-value materials functionally enable the economic conversion of forest residuals into a vast array of products that is required to fully utilize and maximize the value of each tree harvested.

This presentation describes the development of a novel method for deconstructing the delignified wood tracheids (fibres) into micro and nano fibres on an industrial scale. These Micro Fibrillated Cellulose (MFC) fibres are integrated into an emerging foam forming process to make novel biodegradable, low-density porous materials with a wide range of properties and have a wide range of applications.  Applications include everything from biodegradable growing medium for green houses, to advanced air filters, to bioactive water filters, to thermal barriers that enable e-groceries.