Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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NCC (ESTRACTION MACHINE FOR THE NANOCRYSTALLINE CELLULOSE)

biomaterialsHigh value bioproductsNCC Nanocrystalline celluloseReinforcement of biopolymers

Introduction

The invention is a utility model that allows the extraction of nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) starting from amorphous cellulose. The technical problem underlying the invention concerns the poor resistance of natural polymeric materials and the need to enhance the waste deriving from the energy chains of lignocellulosic biomass. In this context, the invented machine allows the extraction of the NCC which is a highly valuable material naturally present in nature and which, due to its crystalline structure at the nanometric level, has many properties (eg reinforcement, optical, biomedical, etc.) that can be used in several application fields such as the paper, packaging and biomedical industries.

Technical features

The machine is designed for the optimization of all NCC extraction phases and each optimized step is carried out in a specific component. Starting from the initial lignocellulosic biomass it allows to obtain NCC crystals through the following process steps: (i) physical-chemical pretreatment; (ii) bleaching and hydrolysis; (iii) dialysis and recovery of means; (iv) dispersion of the crystals through sonication; (v) crystal arrangement. The fields of application of the utility model concern the industries producing natural polymers, the paper industry, but it also has also possible applications in the optical and biomedical field as reinforcement fillers for prostheses and surgical components compatible with the human body.  Indeed the use of commercially available reinforcing materials is often poorly compatible with the biosphere and highly impacting on the environment in terms of production steps.

Possible Applications

  • Paper reinforcement (banknotes);
  • Optics;
  • Biomedical;
  • Packaging;
  • Cosmetics.

Advantages

  • Reinforcement of natural polymers;
  • Production of a high value bio-product (NCC);
  • Efficient recovery of waste resources (eg residual lignocellulosic biomass).