The provincial and federal governments of Canada are planning to construct a nano crystalline cellulose (NCC) plant in Alberta, in association with the industry through the Western Economic Partnership Agreement (WEPA).
The pilot plant proposed with an investment of $5.5-million will produce NCC to facilitate the researchers to study and understand the possible usages of the material. Alberta-Pacific will remain as an industrial partner in the project
The proposed plant will deploy straw pulp and wood such as derived from flax and hemp to produce around 100 kg of NCC every week for trying out its use in various commercial applications to enable further production. Recently performed researches proved that NCC has practical attributes such as optical traits and strength and offers a large sized surface area at the nano scale. The pilot plant will enable the research to examine a range of forest and farming materials for use in varied range of usages such as energy extraction, health care products, packaging, plastics, construction materials, pains and automotive components. The project also provides a new variety of markets for the forest industry of Alberta in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, drilling fluids, coatings, composite materials and others.
The Canada-Alberta WEPA will set its priorities that are in tune with the provincial and national economic growth strategies and deal with the local needs. The venture has recognized four priority segments of activity such as value added processing, trade and investment, competitiveness and business productivity.
According to Dr. Gary Albach, Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures’ (AITF) President and CEO, AITF will provide the needed technical expertise and facilities to the attempts that promise commercial viability. He expressed his excitement to get involved in the nanocrystalline cellulose project that offers economic potential