Blue Goose Biorefineries scales up production of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) and more

I last mentioned Saskatchewan’s (Canada) Blue Goose Biorefineries in a Jan. 22, 2013 posting about its activities with regard to cellulose nanocrystals. I’m a little late to the party but there’s an Apr. 11, 2013 news release on the Advanced Foods and Materials website which notes that Blue Goose Biorefineries’ production of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC also sometimes known as nanocrystalline cellulose, NCC) has been scaled up,

Advanced Foods and Materials (AFM) Canada and Blue Goose Biorefineries Inc. (BGB), are pleased to announce the successful scale up of biorefining technology for the production of high value microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), cellulose nanocrystals (CNC), lignin, and green platform chemicals from flax and hemp straw.

In collaboration with the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Agriculture and Bioresources Bioprocessing Pilot Plant, and POS Bio-Sciences, BGB’s proprietary Renewable Residuals RefiningTM (R3TM) biorefining technology was successfully scaled up to process 100 kg of pulp in a reaction volume of 2500L to produce microcrystalline cellulose and cellulose nanocrystals of high purity, along with lignin and green platform chemicals as by-products. Throughout this process, the technology has shown promising advantages over existing biorefining methods including cost, yield, environmental impact, and flexibility. Necessary process steps demonstrated include biomass preparation, dewatering and washing, reaction mixing and crystalline cellulose washing. The project also successfully demonstrated the spray drying of the cellulose crystals at POS Bio-Sciences.

It’s exciting to hear that there might be more production of CNC in Canada, as well as, microcrystalline cellulose, lignin, and other by-products,. It seems where CNC is concerned that demand exceeds supply (I get the occasional query from someone trying to find a supplier).

I have more information about Advanced Foods and Materials Canada in my Jan. 22, 2013 posting. As well, here are links to the POS Bio-Sciences website and more information about the University of Saskatchewan’s Bioprocessing Pilot Plant.

ETA May 7, 2013 4:30 pm PDT: Dr. Bernard Laarveld of Blue Goose Biorefineries (BGB) very kindly noted this in an email to me today,

… we are now planning to develop a pilot plant for the production of NCC (aka CNC) and MCC and are raising the funding. This development through BGB is more driven from the private sector in partnership with Advanced Food Materials Canada.  We intend to process about 500 kg  of flax or hemp straw per day, and this would generate about 250 kg per day of crystalline cellulose. BGB has an advantage through low cost of production.

Very exciting news and I wish the Dr. Laarveld and the folks at BGB all the best.

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