Production Summary of Cellulose Nanomaterials

Jack Miller

Principal Consultant

Market-Intell LLC

Production Summary

Activities in the production of Cellulose Nanomaterials (CN) has greatly accelerated over the past 5 years.   To help track this progress the NanoDivision has teamed up with Jack Miller to summarize the past and current state of the industry that is in the public domain.  Information presented here are extracted from reports produced by Jack Miller.  Periodic updates will be made to this website so that the information remains current.  


Jack Miller's Bio:

Jack Miller is Principal Consultant, Market-Intell LLC, which he founded in 2005. He has also been Consulting Manager, Global Nanocellulose Sales, American Process Inc., since December, 2014. His experience with nanocellulose dates back to 2009 with market research in applications for CNF and CNC, and later as Business Development Consultant with CelluForce Inc. Jack is also an Associate Consultant with RISI, and is the author of the 2014 RISI study Nanocellulose: Technology, Applications, and Markets. He has presented on nanocellulose at TAPPI and RISI conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Brazil, as well as conferences on composites, nonwovens, adhesives, textiles and other nanocellulose applications.

Cellulose Nanocrystals (CNCs) 

Recent Updates with CNC Production

Several new developments with CNC were announced in 2014 and 2015, including many announcements at the TAPPI Nano conferences in Vancouver, June 2014 and Atlanta, June 2015.  

Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF) reported on its pilot plant at TAPPI Nano 2015. AITF is working to optimize pilot plant operating parameters such as sulfuric acid concentration, temperature and reaction time

CelluForce:  In March 2015, CelluForce announced that Schlumberger joined Domtar and FPInnovations as investors. Schlumberger and CelluForce will collaborate in developing applications for CNC in oil and gas drilling fluids.

In 2015, Melodea, along with investors Holmen AB, MoRe Research and SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, announced a pilot facility in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, adjacent to MoRe. The plant is also supported financially by Västernorrland County Administrative Board, the Kempe Foundations, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, and the Önnesjö Foundation.

Cellulose Nanofibrils (CNFs)

Recent Updates with CNF Production

In September, 2015, Oji Holdings Corporation (Oji) announced that “they have signed an agreement with Nikko Chemicals to launch the joint development of Cellulose Nanofibers (CNF) for cosmetic applications.”  See link

Additional developments that have been reported in Europe, including:

  • Innventia in June 2014 announced plans to develop mobile facilities for nanocellulose production with Billerud Korsnäs, for papermaking.
  • CelluTech AB, Sweden, a spin-off of Wallenberg Wood Science Center, is working with cellulose foams, spheres and magnetic cellulose
  • Stora Enso announced that new board grades containing MFC are reaching the stage of packaging market entry.
  • SAPPI announced new process for dry redispersible CNF with Edinburg Napier University. A pilot plant is expected late 2015.



List of Producers

American Process Inc.

American Process Inc. (API) is a privately held company that specializes in the development of technologies for the commercial production of sugars and ethanol from biomass. In 2013 API celebrated the startup of the second demonstration plant for AVAP technology with a 1 ton/day cellulosic sugars production facility in Thomaston GA and in the third quarter of 2014, API announced the lab scale production of cellulose nanofibrils and nanocrystals. In first quarter of 2015 API trademarked the name BioPlus™ and BioPlus-L™, and in April 2015, pre-commercial production of cellulose nanocrystals and nanofibrils started at the Thomaston biorefinery ½ ton per day demonstration plant. See Link


Borregaard announced in October 2014 that it would build a facility for the production of Exilva microfibrillar cellulose (MFC) at the Borregaard site in Sarpsborg, Norway. The project is based on new innovations related to the product itself as well as to the production process and the applications. The commercial scale facility will have an initial design capacity of 1,000 tonnes per year with a potential for expansion. Production is expected to start in the 3rd quarter of 2016. See Link

CelluForce, Inc.

CelluForce was formed in 2010 as a joint venture between FPInnovations, the Canadian forest products research and innovation center, and Domtar, a $6 billion paper manufacturer, with an investment of $43 million.  Each partner owned 50%.  CelluForce was the first commercial producer of nanocellulose, and its mission was to introduce nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC), now more commonly known as cellulose nanocrystals (CNC).  In January, 2012, CelluForce started up a one tonne per day demonstration plant at the site of the Domtar pulp and paper mill in Windsor QC. At TAPPI Nano in Vancouver, June 2014, CelluForce announced 6 Joint Development Agreements, and cited applications in oil and gas, adhesives, water treatment, coatings, food, and cementitious materials.  In March 2015, CelluForce announced that Schlumberger joined Domtar and FPInnovations as a third investor. Schlumberger and CelluForce will collaborate in developing applications for CNC in oil and gas drilling fluids. See Link.  

Holmen AB

In 2013, Holmen became a major shareholder in Melodea, and sub-licensee of technology licensed to Melodea for production of CNC from paper mill sludge. In 2015, MoRe Research, with Holmen and SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, invested in nanocrystalline cellulose by building a pilot facility in Örnsköldsvik. The facility will be the first of its kind in Europe and represents an important step, allowing interested companies to develop nanocrystalline cellulose from cellulose-based material on a large scale.  See Link

Imerys Minerals, Ltd

Imerys products include kaolins, clays, calcium carbonates, feldspars and mica for markets such as paint, inks and coatings, paper and paperboard, building and construction products, plastics, sealants and adhesives, lawn care and landscaping, health, beauty and nutrition products. See Link. At the TAPPI Conference in Vancouver, June 2014, Imerys announced the production oa FiberLeanTM .  Production at Trebal (Cornwall UK) has a capacity of 1,500 tpy. Imerys also reports an additional 6,000 tpy in progress at other sites globally, with projected capacity of more than 12,000 tpy by early 2017.   FiberLean MFC “is an innovative composite of Micro-Fibrillated Cellulose (MFC) and mineral. See link for FiberLeanTM

Kruger Inc.

Founded in 1904, Kruger Inc. is a major producer of publication papers, tissue, lumber and other wood products, corrugated cartons from recycled fibres, green and renewable energy and wines and spirits. The Company is also a leader in paper and paperboard recycling in North America. Kruger operates facilities in Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador and the United States. On December 18, 2013, FPInnovations and Kruger Inc. announced “a joint project to implement the world’s first five ton/day cellulose filament demonstration plant at Kruger’s Trois-Rivières Paper Mill.”  The press release adds that “the research and innovation project represents investments totaling $43.1 M, including funding from Natural Resources Canada, through the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) Program, as well as a grant from the Québec Ministry of Natural Resources, a loan from Investissement Québec, a contribution from Kruger Inc. and funds from FPInnovations’ pulp, paper and bioproducts industrial members.“  See Link


Paperlogic is the specialty and technical papers division of Southworth Company, a small privately owned company that has been manufacturing high specialty, technical, and buiness papers for industrial and commercial applications since 1839. In May, 2015, Paperlogic started up a 2,000 kg per day CNF demonstration plant at the Paperlogic mill in Turners Falls MA. Paperlogic uses technology from GL&V to produce CNF with low energy cost, using technology first developed in conjunction with the University of Maine. At TAPPI Nano 2015, Paperlogic reported that it was in the process of optimizing and debugging the system.  See Link

Performance BioFilaments

Performance BioFilaments Inc. (PBI), was created in March 2014 as a joint venture between Mercer International and Resolute Forest Products, and is focused on the commercialization of cellulose filaments (CF).  Cellulose filaments are recently-developed materials derived from wood pulp, consisting of very long, thin cellulosic strands.  Performance BioFilaments is growing its team of technical specialists that will focus on application development of cellulose filaments in high value composite materials and chemical rheology modifiers.  Site evaluations for manufacturing facilities in Canada capable of commercial production of cellulose filaments at the scale of 50,000 to 100,000 tonnes per year are also underway.  PBI is targeting the commercial production of CF to commence in 2018. See Link

More to come....

Nippon paper, Innventia, CTP/FCBA, Oji Paper, Sorta Enso, UPM, FPInnovations, Norske Skog, SAPPI, VTT,  USForest Products Lab, University of Maine,  India Council for Ag. Research, etc...