Vision & Objectives
Nanotechnology and forest-sector expertise united in the creation of ArboraNano, the Canadian Forest NanoProducts Network. This R&D network was committed to creating a new Canadian bio-economy founded on innovative, highly-engineered, nanotechnology-based, carbon-neutral products created from Canada's vast forest resource.
A Canadian, cross-industry network guided by its industrial researchers and business members, ArboraNano forged alliances between the forest-sector manufacturing industry and the aerospace, automotive, medical, chemical, composites, and coatings industries. ArboraNano created opportunities for the forest sector and its partners to become suppliers of valuable nanoproducts and nanomaterials through the conversion of wood and wood fibre into unique, significant and superior products. This effort allowed industrial sectors that had been disconnected and reliant on foreign, raw materials to integrate and develop their own local supply chains.
ArboraNano focused a significant part of its efforts on the application of a natural, newly available nanoparticle called NanoCrystalline Cellulose (NCC) in a wide range of advanced materials and products manufactured by the partner industries. NCC, as well as various other well-known nanoparticles, were applied in the development of a new generation of value-added building products and novel paper and board grades with new functionalities.
Nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) is a natural nanoparticle that is extracted from cellulose, the most abundant natural polymer in the world. NCC has unique strength, optical, electrical, and magnetic properties, is capable of self-assembly and is bio-compatible. These unusual and versatile properties can be used to create a wide variety of new products including biocomposites, bioplastics, iridescent coatings, wear-resistant surface treatments, and drug delivery systems.
FPInnovations, a founding member of the ArboraNano Network, has developed an economical commercial process for the extraction of NCC from cellulose. This development has provided the incentive for cross-industry research into the potential uses of this sustainable green nanomaterial. NCC could potentially revitalize or perhaps revolutionize several manufacturing industries.