TAPPI Nano Visits BC Research

The 2023 TAPPI Nanotechnology Conference is being hosted in Vancouver, BC this year, and a diverse group of scientists and industry representatives paid a visit to the BC Research facility as part of the conference programme.

The conference has become the preeminent international forum for nanotechnology as it relates to renewable nanomaterials. Particular interest focused on BC Research’s ground-breaking work in scaling up the production of Nanocrystalline Cellulose (CNC), and, more recently, the commercial-scale separation of high-purity odour-free lignin from black liquor through the proprietary LignoForce™ process. BC Research is also active in the development of new related process platform technologies such as hydrophobic CNC, lignin fractionation into more specific tailored product distributions and a separate process for the production of nano-lignin.

BC Research has a broad engagement with the forest products and agricultural sectors in the drive towards adding value to Canada’s fibre-basket; nano products and green chemicals are leading examples. A diverse uptake, and range of novel applications, has followed in the wake of larger-scale industrial production of CNC, and lignin is poised to follow a similar trajectory. The chemistry of lignin lends itself to the production of a range of other green chemicals and feedstocks. For example, lignin’s aromatic structure represents a possible pathway to renewable cyclo-compounds. It is also a candidate feedstock for the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) and other liquid fuels and chemicals derived from biomass.

The delegates also had the opportunity to engage with the project managers of a number of pilot facilities at BC Research, including the CleanFlow™ process for white and green liquor filtration, black liquor pyrolysis, hydrogen membranes, and electrochemical processes addressing topics as diverse as salt-splitting, to decarboxylation reactions in organic synthesis.