Sustainable solution to enable new renewable and biodegradable products at scale

GranBio Technologies has developed two patented BioPlus® nanocellulose production technologies to cater to different end-use markets, BioPlus® with AVAP® and BioPlus® with GreenBox®. Both processes are demonstrated at the scale of 1/2 tpd at GranBio Tech Biorefinery in Thomaston, Georgia, USA. These processes allow for the economical extraction of commercial-scale nanocellulose from any biomass with adjustable particle size (whether cellulose nanofibrils or cellulose nanocrystals) and composition (pure hydrophilic cellulose or cellulose coated with hydrophobic lignin) to supply several industries. Nanocellulose fibrils produced through the chemical-free GreenBox process have an exceptionally low cost that enables their use in large commodities and typically fiber-based markets, such as the cardboard industry.

Technological innovation in BioPlus® products includes natural and hydrophobic surface modification for compatibility with plastics, oils and other non-aqueous media and water-free masterbatch formulations for drop-in and redispersion processing.

GranBio Tech is actively involved in the development of nanocellulose-enhanced products through collaborations with companies in various industries, including cosmetics, cardboard, high-barrier plastic packaging and lightweight automotive compounds, tires and rubber products.

Some of the sturdiest materials in the world are made from the smallest particles of trees. Their story begins 465 million years ago, when the vegetation dragged out of the ocean. Over a 160-million-year period, this vegetation grew from small shrubs to tall trees, a process enabled by major changes in plant structures. The most important of these changes was the appearance of strong tissues that enable plants to grow more and more in search of sunlight. The evolved tissues contained structural innovations, especially light, high-strength submicroscopic particles, called nanocellulose.

We can economically extract nanocellulose from cells and reassemble it into exclusive products, using the principles of nanotechnology, biomimetics, and studying the endless catalog of nature’s innovations to design highly functional and low impact products. Nanocellulose products are not only sustainable and renewable, they have properties that had never been seen before. Scientists recently produced the world’s strongest biomaterial from pure nanocellulose, knocking spider silk from the first position. This biomaterial is also stronger than metals, carbon nanotubes, graphene and glass fibers on an equal weight basis. Parts made of pure nanocellulose are 8 times lighter than steel and two times lighter than ceramic.

They are flameproof due to their dense arrangement and strong bonding between particles, unlike plastic- and wood-based products. These nanocellulose parts are durable, shock resistant and shock absorbing, unlike ceramic materials, which crack, and traditional wood-based products that can be destroyed by blunt force. There are countless applications for these nanocellulose materials, including lightweight automotive parts, defense and shielding materials, electronics boxes, packaging and ultra-strong fabrics.

Nanocellulose reinforces rubber tires to improve sustainability and fuel efficiency. It improves the barrier properties of plastic bottles and plastic films used in food packaging. Nanocellulose particles are also used in biomedical engineering. They are non-toxic, biocompatible and are being printed in 3D together with living cells to develop customizable cartilage for facial reconstruction and artificial skin tissues. The nanocellulose particles are assembled in biodegradable foams with high porosity and high absorption, for cleaning up oil spills. Its high porosity films are used in special filtration, substrates for lithium ion batteries and electrical circuits. And the list goes on.