Cellulose, the visible aspect of nano cellulose, is the most abundant polymer in the world.
It is the core of trees in every forest ; it is the core of every living plant on this planet, it is present in every stalk of grain and it is present in much of algae and in a number of sea animals. Every year around 11 trillion tonnes of it are consumed around the world in its many forms as manufactured paper and its derivatives.
Nano cellulose is the basic molecular unit of this amazing polymer. Its uses and accompanying , benefits to the world were only just beginning to be discovered after the ground-breaking research of ITT Rayonier in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s , despite its existence being known since the mid 1900’s as a product of endless mechanical grinding of cellulose wood pulp. The energy cost involved in this process almost immediately rendered its use to be limited to a level of scientific curiosity. Rayonier’s findings didn’t change this in reality, but features of their work were a stimulus to researchers a decade later.
Fortunately these researchers persisted with the concept of chemical processing to dismember the strong mechanical and chemical bonding that existed within the multiple cellulose molecules. Since 2000 this research has reached exponential intensity in an effort around the globe to manufacture nano cellulose materials of varying structures and surface morphology at a realistically commercial cost.
NanoCellulose Pty Ltd has recently joined this gathering of entrepreneural researchers in the intention of achieving this goal of competitive satisfaction of potential users’ satisfaction and their success in its end usage. Our mission is clearly oriented to satisfy this myriad of potential uses of nano cellulose and its users. We will join a dozen or more enterprises around the world which are pursuing the same objectives.
We wish to embark on this journey with a vision of identifying uses of this unique material that have not been identified previously and which will benefit from our research and advance the markets so identified in a unique manner. By this means we will provide services to our customers, to society and to our shareholders for many years to come.
To date we have identified four such instances of such product opportunity and we are certain that more await us out there in this fascinating world of nano- cellulose.
Firstly, nanocellulose materials are derived from the most abundant natural polymer on earth. It is present in all our forests, in all our plants and even in some sea life. Between 1010 and 1011 tonnes of cellulose are annually harvested throughout the world.
It is renewable, biodegadable, recyclable and in its nanocellulose form it is edible. Furthermore it is of low density and thus offers significant potential energy savings in its many uses to the overall benefit of society.
Who is NanoCellulose Pty Limited ?
The Managing Director and Founder Director is John O’Neill, a Chemical Engineering graduate of Sydney University, who has spent more than 50 years in general management, R & D, marketing and sales within the Paper and Packaging Industries. He has worked in England, USA, Singapore, Japan and Australia in the above roles. John has previously founded three companies and in every case contributed to the success and innovative record of each organisation. He has been recognised by his election as a Fellow of the Packaging Institute of Australia in 1987 for his contribution to the industry.
He is joined as Founder Director by long-time friend and business associate, Dr Stephen Bett, who earned his PhD at University of NSW for an organic chemistry project. Stephen has been engaged in ground-breaking developments for over 30 years in The Coatings and Printing Inks Industry, initially as Technical Manager at one company and then later as co-founder of two companies of which he has been Managing Director for a number of years. He is Technical Director of the NanoCellulose organisation.
We are the first Australian manufacturer of nano cellulose products which are variously called nano cellulose fibrils (NCF), nano cellulose crystals (NCC), micro cellulose fibrils (MCF), micro cellulose crystals (MCC). Within these products there are different grades of each of the above which have been chemically treated to have a hydrophobic surface, which is essential for later incorporation of that grade e.g. in a plastic composite.
Other grades remain untreated chemically and retain their hydrophilic surface qualities which are essential for later contact use with water based products.
Since all these nano cellulose materials possess a strong chemical reactivity and have enormous surface area, one gramme of any of the different grades having a surface area equal to that of at least ONE TENNIS COURT, the quantity of product used in an application is usually a small quantity.
This demands that the product be very diligently mixed uniformly into the host product. This is normally achieved by introducing nano materials at the earliest possible time in the host product manufacturing process to optimize its uniform distribution within the host.
Nano cellulose may be used , not only as an additive, but also as a web of nano cellulose. Such applications include security vests, where its high impact resistance is efficiently utilized, in bio-medical materials where its compatabilty with in vivo conditions is exploited, in electronic devices and for packaging materials where its gas barrier properties and its strength enhance performance of both paper webs and plastic composite webs. It is also finding use as a water or oil absorbent foam in clean-ups and as a spun skeleton frame in a myriad of uses.
Our culture is rooted in research and development of new materials, finding new applications for a range of nano cellullose materials