The objective of the Biomaterials program is to develop non-traditional wood products in order to enhance the value of all parts of the resource, including residual products, so as to diversify wood markets and contribute to developing a new bioeconomy.
One component of the Biomaterials program, Cellulosic Biomaterials, aims to isolate and make new cellulosic structures, such as nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC), cellulose filaments (CF) and gels, whose properties can improve a wide array of existing products, including pulp and paper, packaging, composite materials, wood products, bioplastics, paints, inks, varnishes, textiles and cosmetics.
Another program component, Wood Biomaterials, aims to maximize the value of the basket of products generated from forest resources. Many high value chemicals, like antioxidants, can be isolated from forest biomass. Others can add value to various products, such as inks, paints and varnishes, whereas wood fibers may be used in the manufacturing of construction materials, automobile components and other composites materials.
The Biomaterials program’s achievements include:
- Optimizing methods to produce nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) on an industrial scale;
- Scaling up the method to extract cellulose filaments (CF) and controlling their production;
- Testing the value of novel biomaterials in pulp and papers;
- Assessing novel applications for new biomaterials for incorporation in emerging products;
- Evaluating a series of technologies for the production of adhesives and bio-based resins;
- Developing a method to manufacture adhesive-free fibreboard.
By creating new high-value-added products and capitalizing on the emerging market for natural and renewable products, the Biomaterials program contributes to diversifying the wood fibre market and transforming the Canadian forest industry.