PLANT

Resolute, Mercer launch biomaterial R&D joint-venture

Partnership will focus on the development of commercial applications for wood-based cellulose filaments.

June 24, 2014   by PLANT STAFF

MONTREAL — Resolute Forest Products Inc. and Mercer International have launched an R&D joint venture, Performance BioFilaments Inc., to develop commercial applications for cellulose filaments.

The biomaterial made from wood fiber that can improve the strength and durability of many commercial and consumer products, including cement, composites and coatings.

“The strength of cellulose filaments can be compared to that of synthetic reinforcement fibers made from non-renewable petroleum inputs,” said Gurminder Minhas, managing director of Performance BioFilaments. “The difference is that cellulose filaments are entirely renewable.”

Resolute says the material could also be adapted for the aviation, marine, aerospace, electronics, manufacturing and construction sectors, as well as in paint and consumer products. Their ribbon-like composition could improve the quality of various materials, and the product is considered to have significant cost advantages compared to alternatives.

FPInnovations Inc., a Canadian scientific organization working in forest products research and development, will produce the material.

Performance BioFilaments will have access to all current and future cellulose filament research being advanced at a third-party mill in Trois-Rivières, Quebec – the world’s first five-metric-ton-per-day cellulose filament demonstration plant.

Resolute Forest Products is a producer of forest products, including newsprint, specialty papers, market pulp and wood products. It owns or operates nearly 40 pulp and paper mills and wood products facilities in the US, Canada and South Korea, and power generation assets in Canada.

Mercer is the world’s largest producer of NBSK market pulp.


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