The overall aim of the NanoCelluComp project is to develop a technology to utilise the high mechanical performance of cellulose nanofibres, obtained from food processing waste streams, combined with bioderived matrix materials, for the manufacture of high performance composite materials that will replace glass and carbon fibre reinforced plastics in many applications including transportation, wind turbines, biomedical, sport and consumer goods.
The technology will include two key stages:
1) liberation of cellulose nanofibres from vegetable food waste and combining the nanofibres with polysaccharides in a single process free of organic solvents to form a 100% bio-composite comprising up to 75 wt% of cellulose nanofibres and
2) orientation of cellulose nanofibres and compaunding the composite in a form easily usable for established technologies, e.g. in the form of bio-prepregs or as composite fibres suitable for bonding with a bioresin.
The development of the technology components will be based on the principals of green chemistry and green engineering and aimed to achieve the Technology Readiness Level 6 (a prototype demonstration in a relevant environment) by the end of the project. The project directly addresses all key objectives of the NMP.2010.1.2.1-2 topic. In particular, the new process and materials will significantly contribute to
• increase in the sustainability of high performance composites by using vegetable food processing waste;
• reduction on the demand of scarce or non-environmentally friendly raw materials by replacing synthetic materials with bioderived nanocellulose and polysaccharides;
• elimination of use of volatile solvents in polymer composite production processes by using only water as solvent;
• reduction in the energy consumption in composite manufacture.
The substitution potential of the new materials shall be investigated in a systematic way during the project.