Micro-fibrillated Cellulose: Introduction

  • Micro-fibrillated cellulose is made of plant-based cellulose fibrils, with a diameter in the range of 10-100 nm. It is manufactured by mechanical treatment with or without enzymatic or chemical pre-treatment.
  • Micro-fibrillated cellulose-based fibers often cross-link with fibers present in paper, packaging, and tissues to make them strong, stiff, and lighter. Additionally, these fibers offer high surface area, thus providing a large number of free hydroxyl groups, which are hydrophilic in nature. The hydroxyl groups help in increasing water retention ability of the fabric, owing to their hydrophilic property. Furthermore, it is non-soluble, tolerant to high pH, and possesses excellent stability at a wide range of temperatures, which makes micro-fibrillated cellulose fiber an ideal material to be utilized in diverse applications. Micro-fibrillated cellulose properties, such as high inertness, good stability, compatibility, shear thinning behavior, and stability, help in formulation of waterborne coatings and adhesives & sealants, especially for more demanding formulations.

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Key Drivers of Micro-fibrillated Cellulose Market

  • Properties of micro-fibrillated cellulose include 200% improvement of mud crack resistance, reduced micro cracking, enhanced opacity, and 90% reduction of coalescing solvents, which in turn reduces odor and VOC content of the paint & coating. This is expected to drive demand for micro-fibrillated cellulose to be used in various applications. Growing interest in bio-based nanomaterial due to its nano-scale dimensions and its ability to entangle nano-porous network, is prompting development and innovation in production of high-value products.
  • Shift in consumer preference toward bio-based products is offering significant opportunities to the development of technologically advanced materials across the globe. Raw material used in the formulation of these materials is available in abundance. Additionally, its properties such as renewability, high surface area, tensile strength, and improved barrier property are expected to drive the demand for micro-fibrillated cellulose.
  • All these factors are expected to augment the demand for micro-fibrillated cellulose in the near future.

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North America to Hold Major Share of Global Micro-fibrillated Cellulose Market

  • Based on region, the global micro-fibrillated cellulose market can be split into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
  • North America and Europe dominated the global micro-fibrillated cellulose market in 2019. Asia Pacific followed these regions in terms of share of the global market. The micro-fibrillated cellulose market in the region is estimated to expand rapidly owing to a rise in the demand for micro-fibrillated cellulose in paints & coatings, packaging, paper, food & beverages, pharmaceuticals, paints & coatings, personal care & cosmetics, and home care applications. Rise in awareness regarding the use of micro-fibrillated cellulose in packaging and paints & coatings formulation and an increase in research & development activities in nanofiber cellulose sector are likely to augment the demand for micro-fibrillated cellulose in North America.
  • Europe is projected to be a leading consumer of micro-fibrillated cellulose in the near future. Increase in regulations on the usage of fossil fuel-based products and a rise in restrictions on the use of hazardous chemicals are anticipated to propel the demand for alternatives in the region.

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Key Players Operating in Market

The global micro-fibrillated cellulose market is consolidated with leading producers accounting for a prominent share. Furthermore, key producers are emphasize on new product launches and mergers & acquisitions to boost their share in the global market. For instance, in October 2018, Stora Enso announced that it had increased its ownership up to 100% in the Europe-based company Cellutech AB. Cellutech AB specializes in the production and marketing of cellulose, micro-fibrillated cellulose and other wood-based components. Major manufacturers operating in the micro-fibrillated cellulose market include:

  • BORREGAARD
  • Daicel FineChem. Ltd.
  •  Stora Enso Oyj
  • Fibria
  • SAPPI
  • Norkse Skog
  • FiberLean Technologies Limited
  • CelluComp Ltd.
  • Zelfo Technolgies GmbH
  • Weidmann Fiber Technology
  •  Nippon paper
  • J. RETTENMAIER & SohneGroup

On June 17, 2019, Stora Enso announced the launch of a new product under the brand name New Natura, made of micro-fibrillated cellulose for liquid packaging application. The company operates the world’s largest micro-fibrillated cellulose production facility at Imatra Mills in Finland.

Global Micro-fibrillated Cellulose Market: Research Scope

Global Micro-fibrillated Cellulose Market, by Application

  • Paper
  • Packaging
    • Food Packaging
    • Liquid Packaging
    • Others

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