Birla Cellulose, the Pulp and Fibre business of Aditya Birla Group and one of the world’s largest man-made cellulosic fibre producers, has filed a joint patent application with Nanollose for a high tenacity lyocell fibre made from bacterial cellulose. Nanollose is an innovative Australian company that uses an eco-friendly fermentation process to grow fibres.
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 Birla Cellulose, 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.
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 nonwoven 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 Birla Cellulose’s closed-loop lyocell production process, could potentially make this Tree-Free lyocell one of the most eco-friendly and sustainable fibres available.
The Nullarbor lyocell fibres are produced using feedstock from industrial and agricultural organic waste.
“The joint patent application strengthens the intellectual property portfolio of both companies and provides protection for this innovative Tree-Free fibre technology,” Birla Cellulose said in a statement.
“This innovative development is another important step in our continuing journey to make our fibres more sustainable. This is an exciting development in the area of next generation alternative feedstock, and we are looking forward to scaling up this technology in collaboration with Nanollose,” said Dr. Aspi Patel, chief technology officer of the Aditya Birla Group and Birla Cellulose.
“We are extremely pleased with the progress of our collaboration with 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,” said Nanollose executive chairman Wayne Best.
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, the statement said.