We are constantly looking into the wonders of wood to unearth new potential, helping us do more with less. Like creating lighter, stronger and more sustainable materials by replacing fossil-based raw materials with renewable alternatives. Microfibrillated cellulose, or MFC for short, is one of those.
MFC is a natural product, a strong material, and safe for food contact. In its original form, it makes tree trunks robust enough to hold the weight of the tallest trees, and despite its micro-scale particle size, it is strong enough to form extremely resistant structures hundreds of times its size. Microfibrillated cellulose has the ability to transform the paper and packaging industries, but it can also do far more in several industrial applications.
Microfibrillated cellulose by Stora Enso is a renewable and biodegradable material, a modified wood pulp taken from wood grown in sustainably managed forests. MFC is based on cellulose fibres: each main fibre is fibrillated – split millions of times into a 3D network of long, thin fibres called fibrils – resulting in a new material with special properties, such as an enormous surface area.
Microfibrillated cellulose can be utilised in fibre-based materials, water based dispersions and solutions, and other applications such as composites, concrete and hydrogels.
In fibre-based materials, MFC is ideal as a strength enhancer. In these applications, MFC has the potential to enable a more high-performing material, a lower weight material, less usage of non-renewable chemicals and improved product processes. In water based dispersions and solutions, MFC is an ideal rheology modifier and stabiliser for applications that require thickening, reinforcement and durability.
Strength and durability can perhaps best describe how MFC can revolutionise a great number of end-use applications. MFC is especially well suited for its strength enhancing properties in specialty papers such as filter paper, release liners, labels, décor paper, electrical paper and barrier paper among others. MFC can provide strength, stiffness and barrier properties. As a rheology modifier and stabiliser, MFC is ideal for paints, coatings and adhesives.
We are constantly researching new areas of application for MFC and finding new potential in various industries. Together with our customers, and through our Innovation Centre for biomaterials in Stockholm, Sweden, we are trying to find innovative new ways to create lighter, more durable and more sustainable materials with MFC.
So far, we have seen that MFC brings advantages in material efficiency, strength enhancement, lightweighting and renewable barrier materials. One small amount of MFC – one giant leap in resource efficiency!
Viable alternative to plastics helping to reduce carbon footprint
Natural strength enhancer and rheology modifier
100% biodegradable and non-toxic material, sourced from a renewable resource
High surface area with high water retention capacity; recovers from high shear quickly
Stable in a wide range of pH, temperatures and salts