FPInnovations and Kruger Inc. have dedicated the world's first cellulose filament (CF) demonstration plant at Kruger's Trois-Rivières Mill.
The 5-ton per day plant will provide enough CF tonnage to permit commercialization and application development.
CF is a new material extracted from wood pulp fibres that is revolutionary because of its unique properties. According to FPInnovations, CF has major potential for Canada's forest sector because of its wide range of applications from existing paper products to new products. The nature of CF allows it to be combined with many materials to develop a wide range of high-value products currently sought after by many Canadian and international industry sectors and is expected to contribute significantly to the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC)'s Vision 2020 ambitious economic objectives.
"This demonstration plant is a great example of how collaboration and strategic investment in research and development can lead to the development of innovative new products that will transform the pulp and paper industry while supporting traditional markets," said FPInnovations' President and CEO Pierre Lapointe. "The inauguration of this facility places Canada in the pole position of global competition to develop the next generation of cellulose-based materials."
"Kruger has been innovating for 110 years and it is with great pride that we are celebrating the dedication of this demonstration plant that promotes a technology of the future," said Daniel Archambault, Executive Vice President and COO, Industrial Products Division, Kruger. "The unique potential of cellulose filaments, combined with our R&D efforts, will help the Canadian forest industry progress and have a bright future."
An intensive concurrent R&D program will support the industrial scale up for applications in different commercial pulps, papers, packaging, tissues and towels, as well as thermosets, thermoplastics, coatings, construction panels and non-wovens.
This groundbreaking research and innovation project represents investments to date totaling $43.1 million, including funding from Natural Resources Canada, through the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) Program, as well as a grant from Quebec's Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, a loan from Investissement Quebec, financial backing from the Government of British Columbia, a contribution from Kruger Inc. and funds from FPInnovations' pulp, paper and bioproducts industry members.