Cellulose Nanofibers in Packaging: Markets, Applications and Opportunities

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Published February 2018 | 165 pages | Table of contents

The bio-based and -active packaging market is growing due to the need for:

  • environmentally friendly products
  • improving food quality and safety during transportation.
  • replacing petroleum-based, glass, metal, wax/plastic coated products.

Consumer demand for more environmental friendly products has lead to the development of nanocomposites derived from renewable sources with triggered biodegradability, but with the same mechanical properties as commonly used materials.

The global plastics sector currently produces approximately 250 million tons annually. Over 99% of this is derived from fossil fuels, and most of it is not biodegradable. Currently, the packaging materials are largely based on glass, aluminium and tin, and fossil derived synthetic plastics. These materials possess high strength and barrier properties. However, they are unsustainable, some are fragile such as glass, and their weight adds to energy costs for shipping.

Therefore, packaging recycling is of great importance, and this market is a potentially lucrative one for cellulose nanofibers (CNF/NFC), and is specifically targeted by most producers. CNF packaging demonstrate strength and stiffness close to that of polyolefines, and can be seen as a low cost “green” substitute for application in food packaging and conservation.

Bio-nanocomposites based on CNF are 100% fully biodegradable and are a prime candidate to replace petroleum-based packaging. Some of the shortcomings of biopolymers, such as weak mechanical and barrier properties can be significantly enhanced by the use of nanocellulose-based materials. CNF is being incorporated into transparent films with excellent barrier properties for application as potential replacement materials for PET plastics in food packaging.

The use of CNFs can potentially extend the food shelf life and can also improve the food quality as they can serve as carriers for a variety of active substances, such as anti-oxidants and anti-microbials.

Cellulose Nanofibers in Packaging: Markets, Applications and Opportunities
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Cellulose Nanofibers in Packaging: Markets, Applications and Opportunities
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY…………………………………………………………. 15

  • 1.1    Applications……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 16
    • 1.1.1     Main opportunities in nanocellulose……………………………………………………………………….. 21
  • 1.2    Production worldwide……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 24
    • 1.2.1     Production plants and production status………………………………………………………………… 25
  • 1.3    Market drivers………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 26
  • 1.4    Market and technical challenges…………………………………………………………………………………….. 29
  • 1.5    Global cellulose nanofibers market size…………………………………………………………………………. 31

2    RESEARCH METHODOLOGY………………………………………………… 41

3    NANOCELLULOSE………………………………………………………………… 47

  • 3.1    What is nanocellulose?…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 47
  • 3.2    Types of nanocellulose…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 49
    • 3.2.1     NanoFibrillar Cellulose (NFC)………………………………………………………………………………… 51
      • 3.2.1.1       Applications……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 51
      • 3.2.1.2       Production methods of NFC producers………………………………………………………….. 53
    • 3.2.2     NanoCrystalline Cellulose (NCC)…………………………………………………………………………… 54
      • 3.2.2.1       Applications……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 55
    • 3.2.3     Bacterial Cellulose (BCC)………………………………………………………………………………………. 56
      • 3.2.3.1       Applications……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 57
  • 3.3    Synthesis of cellulose materials……………………………………………………………………………………… 57
    • 3.3.1     Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC)……………………………………………………………………………. 57
    • 3.3.2     Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC)………………………………………………………………………………. 58
    • 3.3.3     Nanofibrillated cellulose (MFC)………………………………………………………………………………. 58
    • 3.3.4     Cellulose nanocrystals (CNC)………………………………………………………………………………… 59
    • 3.3.5     Bacterial cellulose particles (CNC)…………………………………………………………………………. 60
  • 3.4    Properties of nanocellulose…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 61
  • 3.5    Advantages of nanocellulose………………………………………………………………………………………….. 62
  • 3.6    Manufacture of nanocellulose………………………………………………………………………………………… 62
  • 3.7    Production methods……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 63
    • 3.7.1     Nanofibrillated cellulose production methods…………………………………………………………. 66
    • 3.7.2     Nanocrystalline celluose production methods………………………………………………………… 66

4    CELLULOSE NANOFIBERS MARKET STRUCTURE………………… 67

  • 4.1    Routes to commercialization…………………………………………………………………………………………… 67
  • 4.2    Market structure from materials production to end product…………………………………………….. 67
  • 4.3    Volume of industry demand……………………………………………………………………………………………. 70
  • 4.4    Current end users for nanocellulose, by market and company………………………………………. 71

5    SWOT ANALYSIS FOR CELLULOSE NANOFIBERS………………… 73

6    REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS…………………………………………. 75

7    REGIONAL INITIATIVES AND GOVERNMENT FUNDING………….. 80

8    CELLULOSE NANOFIBER APPLICATIONS…………………………….. 81

9    CELLULOSE NANOFIBER TECHNOLOGY READINESS LEVEL (TRL)………………………………………………………………………………………… 83

10 CELLULOSE NANOFIBERS IN THE PACKAGING MARKET……… 85

  • 10.1      MARKET DRIVERS AND TRENDS…………………………………………………………………………… 85
    • 10.1.1        Growth in the bio-based packaging sector…………………………………………………………. 85
    • 10.1.2        Growth in the barrier food packaging sector………………………………………………………. 86
    • 10.1.3        Growth in active packaging………………………………………………………………………………… 88
    • 10.1.4        High demand for packaging films resistant to oxygen and moisture to increase shelf life             88
    • 10.1.5        Shortcoming of packaging biopolymers……………………………………………………………… 88
    • 10.1.6        Sustainable packaging solutions………………………………………………………………………… 88
    • 10.1.7        Demand for packaging with enhanced functionality…………………………………………… 89
    • 10.1.8        Anti-microbial packaging biofilm market is growing……………………………………………. 90
    • 10.1.9        Need to develop innovative new products in the paper and board industry……….. 91
    • 10.1.10      Environmental……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 91
  • 10.2      APPLICATIONS………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 91
    • 10.2.1        Packaging biocomposites………………………………………………………………………………….. 92
    • 10.2.2        Anti-bacterial packaging…………………………………………………………………………………….. 94
    • 10.2.3        Gas barrier…………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 95
    • 10.2.4        Paper packaging………………………………………………………………………………………………… 98
    • 10.2.5        Paper coatings…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 98
  • 10.3      GLOBAL MARKET SIZE AND OPPORTUNITY…………………………………………………………. 98
  • 10.4      MARKET CHALLENGES…………………………………………………………………………………………. 104

11 COMPANY PROFILES………………………………………………………….. 106-161 (17 company profiles)

12 REFERENCES…………………………………………………………………….. 162

TABLES

  • Table 1: Market summary for nanocellulose-Selling grade particle diameter, usage, advantages, average price/ton, market estimates, global consumption, main current applications, future applications…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 15
  • Table 2: Markets and applications for nanocellulose………………………………………………………………….. 17
  • Table 3: Market opportunity assessment for nanocellulose, by application………………………………… 20
  • Table 4: Nanocellulose production plants worldwide and production status……………………………….. 24
  • Table 5: Current and planned production capacities, by major suppliers, pilot/pre-commercial and commercial volumes……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 25
  • Table 6: Cellulose nanofiber products in Japan………………………………………………………………………….. 32
  • Table 7: Potential volume estimates (tons) and penetration of cellulose nanofibers into key markets………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 35
  • Table 8: Nanocellulose properties………………………………………………………………………………………………. 50
  • Table 9: Applications of nanofibrillar cellulose (NFC)………………………………………………………………….. 50
  • Table 10: Production methods of NFC producers………………………………………………………………………. 52
  • Table 11: Applications of nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC)………………………………………………………….. 55
  • Table 12: Applications of bacterial cellulose (BC)……………………………………………………………………….. 56
  • Table 13: Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) preparation methods, resulting materials and applications…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 56
  • Table 14: Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) preparation methods, resulting materials and applications………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 57
  • Table 15: Nanofibrillated cellulose (MFC) preparation methods, resulting materials and applications………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 57
  • Table 16: Cellulose nanocrystals (MFC) preparation methods, resulting materials and applications………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 58
  • Table 17: Cellulose nanocrystals (MFC) preparation methods, resulting materials and applications………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 59
  • Table 18: Properties and applications of nanocellulose………………………………………………………………. 60
  • Table 19: Properties of cellulose nanofibrils relative to metallic and polymeric materials…………… 62
  • Table 20: Nanocellulose nanocrystal sources and scale…………………………………………………………….. 63
  • Table 21: Nanofibrillated cellulose production methods……………………………………………………………… 65
  • Table 22: Cellulose nanocrystals (NCC) production methods…………………………………………………….. 65
  • Table 23: Cellulose nanofiber market structure…………………………………………………………………………… 66
  • Table 24: Current and potential end users for cellulose nanofibers, by market and company……. 71
  • Table 25: SWOT analysis of cellulose nanofibers………………………………………………………………………. 73
  • Table 26: Safety of Micro/Nanofibrillated cellulose……………………………………………………………………… 76
  • Table 27: Potential high volume impact of cellulose nanofiber and likelihood of market impact…. 81
  • Table 48: Examples of antimicrobial immobilization into cellulose nanofibers…………………………….. 90
  • Table 49: Oxygen permeability of nanocellulose films compared to those made form commercially available petroleum based materials and other polymers…………………………………………………….. 96
  • Table 77: Global packaging market, billions US$……………………………………………………………………….. 98
  • Table 50: Market assessment for cellulose nanofibers in packaging………………………………………….. 99
  • Table 51: Application markets, competing materials, NFC advantages and current market size in packaging…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 100
  • Table 52: Market opportunity assessment for cellulose nanofibers in packaging……………………… 102
  • Table 53:Demand for cellulose nanofibers in the packaging market, 2015-2027 (tons)……………. 103
  • Table 54: Market challenges rating for cellulose nanofibers in the packaging market………………. 104

FIGURES

  • Figure 1: CNF wet powder………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 24
  • Figure 2: Cellulose nanofiber transparent sheet…………………………………………………………………………. 27
  • Figure 3: CNF transparent sheet………………………………………………………………………………………………… 30
  • Figure 4: Running shoes incorporating cellulose nanofibers………………………………………………………. 31
  • Figure 5: Ballpoint pen incorporating cellulose nanofibers………………………………………………………….. 32
  • Figure 6: Onkyo speakers, incorporating CNF……………………………………………………………………………. 33
  • Figure 7: Daio Paper toilet wipes………………………………………………………………………………………………… 34
  • Figure 8: Cellulose Nanofiber (CNF) composite with polyethylene (PE)…………………………………….. 34
  • Figure 9: Cellulose nanofibers market, by type, 2015–2027 (Tons)……………………………………………. 36
  • Figure 10: Cellulose nanofiber market by region, 2017………………………………………………………………. 38
  • Figure 11: Cellulose nanofiber market by region, 2027………………………………………………………………. 39
  • Figure 12: Schematic diagram of partial molecular structure of cellulose chain with numbering for carbon atoms and n= number of cellobiose repeating unit……………………………………………………. 46
  • Figure 13: Scale of cellulose materials……………………………………………………………………………………….. 47
  • Figure 14: Types of nanocellulose………………………………………………………………………………………………. 49
  • Figure 15: Relationship between different kinds of nanocelluloses…………………………………………….. 49
  • Figure 16: TEM image of cellulose nanocrystals………………………………………………………………………… 54
  • Figure 17: Main steps involved in the preparation of NCC………………………………………………………….. 64
  • Figure 18: Schematic of typical commercialization route for cellulose nanofiber producer…………. 66
  • Figure 19: Volume of industry demand for nanocellulose by cellulose nanofiber producer sales, 2016……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 70
  • Figure 20: Technology Readiness Level (TRL) for cellulose nanofibers…………………………………….. 83
  • Figure 24: Example process for producing NFC packaging film…………………………………………………. 89
  • Figure 25: Demand for cellulose nanofibers in the packaging market, 2015-2017 (tons)…………. 103
  • Figure 51: Asahi Kasei CNF fabric sheet………………………………………………………………………………….. 110
  • Figure 52: Properties of Asahi Kasei cellulose nanofiber nonwoven fabric………………………………. 111
  • Figure 53: Nonwoven fabric made from CNF……………………………………………………………………………. 112
  • Figure 54: Rheocrysta spray…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 123
  • Figure 55: Hydrophobization facilities for raw pulp……………………………………………………………………. 133
  • Figure 56: Mixing facilities for CNF-reinforced plastic……………………………………………………………….. 134
  • Figure 57: Nippon Paper Industries’ adult diapers……………………………………………………………………. 135
  • Figure 58: CNF transparent film……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 138
  • Figure 59: CNF wet powder……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 139
  • Figure 61: Bio-based barrier bags prepared from Tempo-CNF coated bio-HDPE film……………… 157