Kruger Wins "Open Innovation" Award for Its Cellulose Filament Demonstration Plant

Cellulose Filament is obtained by mechanically peeling the filaments from wood fibres. The resulting filaments are extremely thin at about 500 nanometres wide, but can be as long as a half a millimetre and are extremely light and flexible.

November 28, 2014 – Kruger Inc. was presented with the “Open Innovation” Award by the Association pour le développement de la recherche et de l'innovation du Québec (Québec Association for research and innovation development - ADRIQ) at the Association’s 24th Innovation Awards Gala held in Montréal on November 20, 2014, in recognition of its cellulose filament demonstration plant in Trois-Rivières that had been dedicated six months earlier. ADRIQ presents this annual award to a company that “has distinguished itself by creating and implementing world-class equipment in the field of collaborative innovation”.

The world’s only cellulose filament (CF) demonstration plant, developed as part of an R&D partnership with FPInnovations and dedicated in June 2014, can produce five tonnes of this new- generation biomaterial per day.

“We are very happy to be recognized for our efforts towards this project that is as innovative as it is promising, not only for the pulp and paper industry but also for a host of industries that can benefit by incorporating cellulose filaments into their products to improve their strength, their environmental friendliness and potentially their affordability,” said Daniel Archambault, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Industrial Products Division, Kruger.

“Collaboration between Kruger and FPInnovations fast-tracked the development of this exciting new technology and led to the building of the world’s first large-scale CF demo plant in Trois-Rivières. Thanks to the Trois-Rivières plant, Canada is now in the pole position of global competition to develop new applications of cellulose-based materials that will be used in products for everyday life,” said Pierre Lapointe, President and CEO of FPinnovations

Cellulose filaments
The demo plant operates on a simple and efficient chemical-free process developed by FPInnovations after four years of intensive work. CF is obtained by mechanically peeling the filaments from wood fibres. The resulting filaments are extremely thin at about 500 nanometres wide (that is, more than one millionth of a metre), but they can be as long as a half a millimetre and are extremely light and flexible.

Their unique bonding capacity makes them an exceptional eco-friendly reinforcement additive to many products in traditional applications such as paper and packaging products, as well as in non- traditional applications that could include thermoplastics, thermosets, adhesives, non-woven fabrics, coatings or structural and non-structural panels for building construction, etc.

The project includes an intensive R&D program to support the industrial scale up for new applications, jointly with industries or companies that could benefit from including CF in their products to increase their resistance, durability and performance or lower production costs, among other potential advantages.

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 financial support from the Québec Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks and from Investissement Québec, the Government of British Columbia, Kruger Inc. and FPInnovations’ pulp, paper and bioproducts industry members.

About Kruger
Founded in 1904, Kruger Inc. is a major producer of publication papers, tissue, lumber and other wood products, corrugated cartons from recycled fibres, green and renewable energy and wines and spirits. The Company is also a leader in paper and paperboard recycling in North America. Kruger operates facilities in Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador and the United States. To learn more, please visit www.kruger.com.

About FPInnovations
FPInnovations is a not-for-profit world-leading R&D institute that specializes in the creation of scientific solutions in support of the Canadian forest sector’s global competitiveness and responds to the priority needs of its industry members and government partners. It is ideally positioned to perform research, innovate, and deliver state-of-the-art solutions for every area of the sector’s value chain, from forest operations to consumer and industrial products. FPInnovations’ staff numbers more than 525. Its R&D laboratories are located in Québec City, Montréal and Vancouver, and it has technology transfer offices across Canada. For more information about FPInnovations, visit: www.fpinnovations.ca.

SOURCE: Kruger Inc.