Mechanical milling and Production of different grades of nanofibrillated cellulose NFCs

As part of BIOMAC project, nano fibrillated cellulose (NFC) will be produced through mechanical disintegration of pure cellulosic fiber suspensions. The final NFC will be incorporated into polymeric matrices for the targeted applications where NFCs provide desired properties enhancements.

With this view, a specific grinder (SuperMassColloider, Masuka) with a dry capacity of 1 kg/day of cellulose pulp (containing up to 5% cellulose) will be used. This technology allows the size reduction of a range of different cellulose fibers (short and long) without the clogging issues encountered with other technologies. Various pre-treatment approaches and chemical modifications will additionally be explored in order to aid in the efficient generation of NFC and enhance their compatibility with polymer matrices of interest.

pilot lines templates cover 1

To increase productivity and final product quality, this pilot line will be upgraded to enable continuous processing (thus doubling production capacity from 1kg/day to 2kg/day) and in-line monitoring (to confirm and control product quality via process automation). For this purpose, a system of automatic valves and a peristaltic pump controlled by a flowmeter will be installed. The realization of a desired NFC suspension viscosity will serve as an indicator of process completion, to be measured using an on-line viscometer to be included in the developed control system.

These efforts will be carried out in concert with those involving PL13, which involves the same sort of equipment and pilot line upgrades, but which is focused on the production of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) via a combination of chemical and mechanical processes.