Biochemistry and chemistry
H-Cel is a process technology capable of producing cellulose nanocrystals with a gaseous reagent at a very high (> 95%) consistency. In this way, many problems related to the production and processing of nanocellulose can be solved. Existing technologies are based on the use of a liquid acid, in which case the product obtained from the process is usually at a consistency of 1-10%. As a result of such low consistency, the cost of drying and transporting nanocellulose has risen to unsustainable levels. The purification of nanocellulose in these processes is also cumbersome and the recycling of liquid acid is not made profitable. H-Cel solves all these problems: the product is washed with a simple rinse and the recycling of gaseous acid makes the process environmentally friendly.
Nanocellulose has been advertised in many ways as a savior for the forest industry and as a raw material for new, more environmentally friendly products. At the moment, however, the problem is the high price. For example, the production of biodegradable composites to replace plastic with nanocellulose is far too expensive. H-Cel focuses specifically on the decisive calculation of nanocellulose production costs. The scalability and commercialization of H-Cel technology will increase the competitiveness of Finnish industry in the production and application of nanocellulose to new products. At the same time, it is a statement in favor of new, more environmentally friendly technology.
Contact: Janne Raula, Innovation advisor (CHEM)