Birla Cellulose & Nanollose file patent for Lyocell

Birla Cellulose & Nanollose file patent for Lyocell

Birla Cellulose, part of the Aditya Birla Group and one of the world’s largest man-made cellulosic fibre producers, announces filing of a joint patent application with Nanollose for a high tenacity lyocell fibre made from bacterial cellulose.

Grasim Industries
Limited, a company listed on National Stock Exchange of India, Bombay Stock
Exchange and Luxembourg Stock Exchange and Nanollose Limited, a company listed
on the Australian Securities Exchange have filed a joint patent application for
a high tenacity lyocell fibre made from bacterial cellulose.

A team of fibre
experts at Birla Cellulose, a unit of Grasim Industries, at its Pulp and Fibre
Innovation Centre have produced nullarbor lyocell fibre that is finer than silk
and significantly stronger than conventional lyocell made from wood pulp.

The lyocell market is
predicted to be worth US$1.5 billion by 2024, growing with a CAGR of around 8
per cent. Birla Cellulose and Nanollose will now focus on taking this success
to the pilot production phase to produce initial commercial quantities of fibre
to enable commercial agreements with fashion brands. The joint patent provides
the companies with additional intellectual property, a superior fibre and
enhances the collaboration between Birla Cellulose and Nanollose.

In February 2020,
Grasim Industries Limited signed a collaboration agreement with Nanollose, to
exclusively explore and develop Nanollose’s Tree-Free fibres including
nullarbor and nufolium.

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.

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 joint patent
application strengthens the intellectual property portfolio of both companies
and provides protection for this innovative Tree-Free fibre technology. The
nullarbor lyocell fibers are produced using feedstock from industrial and
agricultural organic waste.

The Chief Technology Officer of the Aditya Birla
Group and Birla Cellulose, Aspi Patel
, said,” 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.”

Commenting on the
patent, Nanollose Executive Chairman,
Wayne Best
, said, “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.”

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.

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