The patent application, entitled ‘High Tenacity Lyocell Fibres from Bacterial Cellulose and Method of Preparation Thereof’, represents a major advancement over Nanollose’s previous viscose versions of nullarbor™ and nufolium™.
Using the lyocell process, a team of fibre experts at Grasim's Pulp and Fibre Innovation Centre have produced nullarbor fibre that is finer than silk and significantly stronger than conventional lyocell that is traditionally produced from wood pulp.
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Lyocell is a form of rayon, made using a closed-loop process with low demand on chemical and water usage and low waste generation.
This makes it very environment-friendly and brings with it an elevated demand from clothing brands.
Lyocell is widely used in textile and non-woven applications and has become popular due to a number of desirable strength and comfort characteristics.
Furthermore, the combination of the Nanollose’s tree-free cellulose, along with lyocell’s closed-loop production process, could potentially make Nanollose’s tree-free lyocell one of the most eco-friendly and sustainable fibres available.
The lyocell market is predicted to be worth US$1.5 billion by 2024, growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 8%.
Following the filing of the patent, Nanollose and Birla Cellulose, Grasim’s business unit for the production of sustainable fibres, will now focus on taking this success to the pilot-scale to produce initial quantities of fibre to enable commercial agreements with a select number of fashion brands.
The joint patent application strengthens the intellectual property portfolio of both companies and provides protection for this innovative tree-free fibre technology.
“Superior properties over conventional tree-based fibres”
Nanollose executive chairman Dr Wayne Best said: “We are extremely pleased with the progress of our collaboration with Grasim and Birla Cellulose which has already delivered this joint patent application.
“The nullarbor fibre produced by the team at Birla Cellulose has exceeded our expectations, and we now have a fibre that is not only more eco-friendly but has superior properties over conventional tree-based fibres.
“We are very much looking forward to commencing the pilot production and presenting textiles made from this remarkable fibre to the fashion industry.”
In January 2020, Nanollose signed a collaboration agreement with Grasim, a company belonging to global conglomerate, Aditya Birla Group, one of the world’s largest man-made cellulosic fibre producers, to exclusively develop, and commercialise Nanollose’s Tree-Free fibres including nullarbor™ and nufolium™.
The collaboration agreement provides Nanollose with a world-class and globally recognised industrial partner, with the ability to accelerate development, commercialisation and provide a manufacturing foundation for future textile and clothing brands that uptake Nanollose’s Tree-Free fibres.