Exilva® is Borregaard's innovative additive within the field of Cellulose fibrils / Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC). It is a natural and sustainable bio-based problem solver, that improves rheology and stability in product formulations. Through this blog you will learn more about the potential impact you can get from this wonderful product.


Improved barrier performance with Exilva

Otto Soidinsalo | July 1, 2022


Recent awareness in sustainability as well as changes in the legislation regarding single-use products, has put significant pressure on the whole packaging industry. Although fiber-based packaging is regarded as the solution for replacing plastic, the current solutions have big challenges regarding, for example, the recyclability.

Reduce Starch Consumption with Exilva PBX

Ole Martin Kristiansen | March 29, 2022


Our world is facing massive disruptions lately. Barely any service, raw material or product goes untouched through this period. Even the starch supply chain is facing wicked times, and every corrugator is affected by the massive price increase for starch. What if you could reduce your glue consumption by more than 15% just by adding a biobased additive to your existing recipe?

High-build coatings, also known as ultra high-build (UHB) coatings are paints that are applied in high wet film thickness ranging from 5 Mils to 60 plus Mils. UHB coatings are typically used in situations where long term protection is needed or the material coated is exposed to harsh conditions, ranging from heavy rain to salt water. These coatings are preferably applied in one coat to save cost, especially in more demanding environments, such as in the case of bridges or high buildings.

How to reduce manufacturing costs in wood-based panel

Katérina Liapis | January 25, 2022


Approximately 410 Million m3 (2018) of wood panels are produced today and the most common types are medium density fiberboard (MDF), high density fiberboard (HDF), particle board (PB), plywood (Ply), and oriented strain boards (OSB). Globally plywood is very widespread/prevailing/prevalent owing to its high demand for furniture manufacturing in Asia Pacific and North Americas. In Europe particle board is dominating followed by MDF and plywood. The two most dominating applications are construction and furniture.

Agricultural formulations are commonly used by farmers to increase crop yields. These formulations either provide the crops with nutrients, such as liquid fertilizers (LFs), or protect the crops from diseases or pests or do both. Formulation stability is crucial to maintain a uniform and effective application.

Boost the rainfastness of your crop protection formulation with Exilva

Harrison Gallantree-Smith | December 14, 2021


Protecting crops from pests, weeds and fungal infections is key to maintaining the health of plants and improving crop-yields. Crop protection formulations, such as pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, help with preserving crop robustness.

Microplastic Free and Biodegradable Seed-Coating

Harrison Gallantree-Smith | November 30, 2021


Seed coatings are a common method of seed treatment which applies the antimicrobial and/or fungicidal agents to the surface of a seed via additives, such as binders, to ensure adherence. The seed coatings ensure healthier crops from their earliest growth stage, reduce crop losses, and improve nutritional value of the final crop. Furthermore, seed coatings can physically modify the seed to improve handling by reducing friction and improving flowability.

Update!
We were recently featured in AgroPages about our solutions in agriculture. Read the full article here: https://news.agropages.com/News/NewsDetail---43008.htm

The last few years have seen a very fast increase in the use of biologicals and biocontrol agents in crop protection and agricultural products as part of the shift towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly agriculture.

Prevention of viscosity loss upon tinting in waterborne coatings

Harrison Gallantree-Smith | November 2, 2021


With an increasing trend to more environmentally friendly and low VOC paints, waterborne coatings are becoming more favoured over solvent-based coating, due to their lower solvent concentration.

The corrugated business is an industry always in development. After five years of looking into the corrugated industry and how Exilva can be applied to different glue recipes, we have seen elevating results at more than 70 corrugators around the world. Timer after time customer’s state great results. Our latest success story involves a trip to one of the biggest players in the industry. Our common mission was to fix edge delamination that occurs at slitter scorer on double wall and heavy single wall. Names and location of the customer has been anonymized. 

In this blog post we have collected our key learnings from working with corrugated board in over 170 trials. You will find information about reduced starch consumption, prolonged stability of viscosity in starch adhesives, robustness, increased productivity, bonding quality and how to fight warp. Finally, we share feedback and learnings from customers!

To wrap up this corrugated boards application series we finish with a focus on warp. Warp is one of the most common problems that corrugated board manufacturers face. Producing bent or twisted boards results in excessive scrap, waste and reduced production rates. There may be a number of factors that contribute to this problem; leaving out the machinery and focusing on the moisture control in the bonding process, what happens when we add Exilva (Microfibrillar Cellulose, MFC) to the adhesive?

The secret to stronger corrugated boards

Synnøve Holtan | September 21, 2021


The bonding quality determines the ultimate strength of the corrugated board. In my previous blog post I revealed increased speed results for the production of corrugated boards. In this blog post I have investigated what effect Exilva Microfibrillated Cellulose (MFC) has on bond strength.

Having demonstrated the viscosity stabilizing effect of Exilva in starch adhesives, for this third blog post in the corrugated boards application series, I will focus on the effect on glue ability and production speed.

In a previous blog post, I explained how the new technology of Exilva microfibrillated cellulose may improve the viscosity stability of starch adhesives. Here is the second blog post in the corrugated boards application series, and now I have entered the glue kitchen of a corrugated boards manufacturer to evaluate the robustness and stability effects of Exilva.

Quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs) are a group of cationic antimicrobials widely used for numerous industrial and pharmaceutical purposes. They are disinfectant chemicals commonly used in disinfectant wipes, sprays and household cleaners. They are very popular these days as they allow products to claim to be antibacterial and are part of many EPA listed products with emerging viral pathogens and human coronavirus (Covid-19) claims.

MFC can help thicken your advanced cleaning products

Otto Soidinsalo | April 28, 2020


There is a strong need to disinfect and sanitize frequently touched surfaces. Exilva Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) is a biobased structuring agent that can thicken household disinfectant and cleaning products at low to high pH, as well as with oxidizing compounds.

Hydroalcoholic hand sanitizers are the best option to keep up your hand hygiene when soap and water are not accessible. They are one of the most used and needed products these days. If you are considering formulating a hand sanitizer, read about how you can use Exilva Microfibrillated Cellulose, a biobased material, to structure and thicken your formulations as well as provide a non-tacky feel.

Starch is a natural polymer found in many processes either as an adhesive or a thickener. Following paper production, corrugated board is the second largest application of non-food starches globally, where it it used as an adhesive between the fluting and liners. The control of the adhesive viscosity during process and storage is critical. However, despite further developments regarding the formulation of starch adhesives, the viscosity is commonly not stable enough over extended periods of time, in particular over weekend storage. In this first of a series of blog posts with the corrugated boards application as the example, I will give an introduction to this problem, and the new technology of Exilva, a microfibrillated cellulose, to solve it.

Applications for strong, lightweight MFC films

Ole Martin Kristiansen | January 7, 2020


Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) has a good film-forming ability, where the film is strong and light. In addition, the films are opaque, translucent or even transparent depending on the thickness of the film and type of MFC. They also show good oxygen barrier properties. Moreover, MFC can be combined with different polymers or fillers to obtain even more versatile material. In this post, we want to show the potential of MFC films in various applications. Let’s start by discussing how MFC films can be made and then see what kind of applications these films may have.

Hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC) and Exilva microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) can both be used as rheology modifiers in a variety of industries to prevent sedimentation and settling. In this article, I review the ability of the materials to give a yield stress in a waterbased system and, because of that, provide anti-settling and anti-sedimentation behavior. Tune-in on a comparison between these two rheology additives.

Undesirable phenomena such as sedimentation and settling can often occur during the storage of paints. Therefore, a re-dispersion step is necessary which can mean additional cost. These challenges can be even more pronounced in high solid content formulations and so it is crucial to secure stability of those systems. To avoid these effects, rheology modifiers need to be added to paint formulations. So, I prepared some information for you and conducted a couple of tests with the rheology additive nanocellulose to show you how focus on yield stress will reduce sedimentation and settling.

Paint manufacturers have been formulating paints containing microspheres in many years. Formulators can use microspheres to increase the solid content of a coating while maintaining the proper application and flow characteristics. Higher solids can reduce volatile organic compounds (VOCs), shrinkage and drying time. But there can be problems with settling and sedimentation, as well as floating of the microspheres. In addition, cost of certain types of microspheres can be high.

The pursue for a more efficient and increasingly EHS improved way of incorporating microfibrillated cellulose into polymers for polymer melts (thermoplastics) has been going on for years. Thermoplastics are an important source for many final products and applications. By introducing microfibrillated cellulose into polymers by the means of liquid suspension, Gneuss have been able to avoid the agglomeration of powder form similar particles, as well as improve the EHS profile of such a process.

Modified polyurea and Exilva Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) can both be used as rheology modifier in a variety of industries to prevent sedimentation and settling. In this article, I review the ability of the materials to give a yield stress in a waterbased system and, because of that, provide anti-settling & anti-sedimentation behavior. Tune-in on a comparison between these two rheology additives.

Clay (including montmorillonite and bentonite) additives and Exilva microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) have a lot in common since they both can be used as rheology modifier in different industries. However, there are also clear differences. In this article, I will review the ability of the materials to provide yield stress and subsequent anti-settling & anti-sedimentation benefits. Tune-in on a comparison between two of the most potent anti-settling & anti-sedimentation additives available.

Exilva microfibrillated cellulose and fumed silica are both used for controlling the rheology of liquid systems, such as anti-settling and anti-sedimentation. But when we are comparing the two technologies, we also see differences. In this article, we will show you how the microfibrillated cellulose and fumed silica builds yield stress, and how they consequently can give good anti-settling and anti-sedimentation benefits.

Surfactants are present in most consumer products. The most familiar examples are shampoos, hand wash products and cleaning products in general. Switching to sulfate free surfactants improves the environmental profile, but can be a challenge. Let me show you a way to this.

I will demonstrate that one can use cellulose fibrils to thicken and stabilize formulations with foam forming surfactants. The most important point to remember when preparing such formulations is to avoid foam formation during the incorporation step of surfactants with the cellulose fibrils.

What is heat of hydration, and how does it affect the settling and curing phase of the concrete? Learn more about different types of concrete cracking, why they occur - and preventative measures and repair methods for fixing it in this Topic Tuesday. Hint: there are bio-based alternatives available!

Topic Tuesday: Next generation gypsum boards

Ole Martin Kristiansen | April 16, 2019


Gypsum boards (plasterboard/drywall) are a very commonly used product in the construction industry. Currently, the production of the boards is a labor-intensive, CO2 producing and energy consuming process with the need for many synthesized additives to retain the flow, strength and setting profiles. What if you could change that?

Sedimentation of solid particles in liquid materials, like paints and inks, is caused by gravitational force pulling particles of high density down. In the worst case, sedimentation can result in settling, the formation of a hard layer of solid material on the bottom of the can. How to avoid this?

How to determine a product’s environmental performance

Andreas Brekke, Guest blogger | March 19, 2019


The scientific method Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a tool originally developed to scrutinize the environmental performance of products, product systems or services. In recent years, the LCA framework has been expanded to include all aspects of sustainability. This blog post will present what LCA is, how it has developed historically and why you should care about it.

What is sustainability, really?

Andreas Brekke, Guest blogger | March 12, 2019


Often the word sustainability is used to designate that something is good, without any specification of good for what or good for whom. It’s time to put some hold to the phrase ‘sustainable’. Learn more on what it means and what you need to keep in mind when talking about sustainable products or solutions.

When most people were talking about the brutal polar vortex that hit Chicago earlier this year, I am sure many were looking for ways to best protect the products they are producing, transporting, storing and using from being destroyed by freezing. In this blog post, I will briefly mention a few tips on how to make products freeze-thaw stable such that they can be used in winter harsh areas.

How has China become leading in sustainable technologies?

Ole Martin Kristiansen | February 20, 2019


In China we are currently seeing a massive shift towards sustainable technologies. Many are describing China as the next green superpower, and that China is positioning itself towards a new area where the accessibility to energy is becoming very different from the current situation. This can shift the power balance towards economies which embrace the new opportunities from more sustainable solutions. Where can you find opportunities in this? And are there opportunities for novel sustainable materials like cellulose fibrils and microfibrillated cellulose (MFC)?

Over the last century, human activities have been affecting the global environment, most noticeably with the general increase in greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2). This rise in greenhouse gases has mainly been due to the upsurge in fossil fuel consumption over the last fifty years.

Why new materials can play an important role in new innovations

Ole Martin Kristiansen | February 7, 2019


Solving problems you have or initiate new innovations can lead down quite different paths. Sometimes the urge to get rid of a problem can lead to many quick decisions, but what should one really look for in these types of situations? Should your standard tool box of problem solvers be used, or do you have the opportunity to focus on upgrading this box? In this blog post, I will try to show you some concrete examples why adding new tools to your tool box can improve your functionalities beyond your scope, using the microfibrillated cellulose as an example. Simply, why new functionality beats substitution.

Coating performance is often very complex, and can depend on the coating system itself, substrate to be coated, conditions during coating etc. Increasing the performance is often a lengthy process with multiple tests on wet paint performance and dried coating performance. Key aspects of wet paints can be control of rheology, and for solid coatings the ability to improve endurance. Are there technologies available for aiding on the key aspects? For sure. Are there new sustainable additives which can improve the new water borne technologies? Let me show you an example of exactly that in this blog post.

Is powder handling a problem in your production facilities? If yes, you have probably tried to reduce the dusting and other environment, health and safety (EHS) risks related to powders as much as possible. Have you considered to change the additives and ingredients that will reduce or give no dust, whilst keeping the desired performance? In production, the handling of powders can often lead to EHS issues. But are there any alternatives? Yes, indeed.

We rely on well-proven construction technologies wherever we move around. The construction technologies have been developed for decades to make sure that we have long-living and safe infrastructure and buildings around us. But in a world moving in increasing speed towards more emphasis on lowering emissions and waste, how is the construction industry affected? And are there any ready-made bio-based solutions available?

Focus on sustainability is changing business!

Ole Martin Kristiansen | December 18, 2018


We are starting to see major shifts towards increased focus on sustainability, with examples like the likely upcoming EU ban on single use plastics, and the Chinese environmental tax on solvent based coatings. Your company and its competitive advantage will be defined by the ability shown in adapting to this. I will in this blog post touch upon a subject that can be important to assess for you going forward. 

Three reasons why water-borne product systems are taking over

Ole Martin Kristiansen | December 4, 2018


You may have noticed that the number of waterborne systems has increased massively during the past decade. Waterborne systems, like paint and adhesives, where water is the main part of the product in many cases, are popular due to several factors. My goal with this article is to introduce you to what I believe are the three most significant aspects of the increased demand for waterborne product systems, focusing on coatings and adhesives.

The technology of cellulose fibrils/nanocellulose is breaking new grounds, and my research review this week is focusing on materials development. So if you are wondering how new increasingly sustainable nanocellulose/thermoplastic solutions are looking, you should not miss out on this week’s research review!

Lime, consisting of air lime and hydraulic lime, is one of the most important historical construction materials. Due to new plasticizer technologies available, we are now seeing a new golden era approaching for this material? Don't miss out on this Topic Tuesday subject that can give you insights into improving lime mortar formulations which can outcompete concrete materials by enhancing workability and appearance.

Trends are clear; today's technology demands expect smaller and lighter devices, while at the same time the need for digital speed, pace and stamina is a potential deal breaker. How do you cope with this when developing tomorrows technology? In today's Topic Tuesday we serve you some interesting thoughts on how to keep your batteries safer, so you can focus on staying in front in the ongoing development marathon.

How can I control the rheology of my concrete better?

Tania Risson, Guest Blogger | October 30, 2018


Concrete products are a complex mixture of chemicals, fines, and heavy particles. It's always challenging to control the stability, flow and strength of it. Many admixtures have been created to overcome these challenges, often containing synthetically derived performance additives. I will here try to give you some input of one of the new technologies and how it affects various parameters in the concrete.

For decades, producers of fluid materials have used HASE as the fundamental technology to control flow. How can new technologies complement this work horse of rheology modification? This week I am trying to uncover the key aspects of the HASE technology and give you ideas on the HASE technology in relation to the world I am familiar with: nanocellulose and cellulose fibrils. 

As a researcher, to have an overview of the alternatives available in your area of profession is of importance. In the landscape of rheology, new alternatives are emerging. In my short review today, I will grasp on the subject of similarities and potential synergies between two of the candidates you should note down: nanocellulose and hydrophobically modified ethoxylated polyurethanes (HEUR). Here are my hints and tips  on how to understand these two technologies better.

Rheology is the study of deformation and flow of material under stress, for example how easily material changes its form when it is pressed, or how easy it is to pump liquid in the pipes. Yield stress and viscosity are two importance aspects in the study of rheology and I will today exemplify this by using the Exilva microfibrillated technology. 

A fast viscosity recovery is good, and some times crucial, but that would also affect the leveling, right? In this weeks Topic Tuesday, we discuss how you can cope with the issue of getting fast recovery - and avoid sag - while getting your coating layer in level. We may also have some exciting ideas for you if you have problems with cracking. 

There is a growing interest to increase the portion of bio-based components in various consumables. We have previously discussed about the challenges to incorporate microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) into composite materials with hydrophobic matrixes, such as PLA. Today we will take a step even further and see how cellulose fibrils can support the development of more environmentally friendly tires with high performance and durability.

[VIDEO] Topic Tuesday: You need to change the way you think!

Ole Martin Kristiansen | September 25, 2018


Suddenly, the new tax on pollutants in China, their ban on solvent based coatings for containers, and the city of Shanghais ban on solvent based coatings for exterior walls and wood ware has changed things. Do you want to know more on how to adapt in rapid market changes like these? In this topic Tuesday we are discussing this and showing you a couple of concrete examples to get your ideas start running. Don´t miss out on this weeks interesting discussion on saving business with the necessary level of innovation.

I need to improve the strength of my products, how can I do this?

Ole Martin Kristiansen | September 18, 2018


There are several solutions to improve strength performance, and there are new materials available on the market. But how do you find the reinforcement additives and agents that provides the benefits you are looking for? And can this be done inline with the increased demand for sustainability at the same time? Spend a couple of minutes on this weeks blog post, and get some inputs and ideas on what to expect from one of these new materials.

Topic Tuesday: How to perform with your oil-in-water-emulsion

Ole Martin Kristiansen | September 11, 2018


Mixing two liquids like oil and water is hard enough. At the same time keeping it stable, adds an additional level of difficulty in this challenge. And how can you reach the best performance on rheology and stability in the making of these emulsions? In this episode of Topic Tuesday, we are discussing the subject of emulsions; what are they, how do they work and how do we make them stable? Grab a coffee and joins us for a video session.

Research review August 2018: New nanocellulose findings

Ole Martin Kristiansen | September 4, 2018


This month’s research review has some interesting news from the world of nanocellulose. We have referred to a lot of interesting functionalities from this exciting material before, ranging from 3D printing to super reinforcer and rheology additives. Today, we are giving you the news of an interesting, and, I must admit, slightly unforeseen idea. It was uncovered in Asia. Dig in to this week’s blog post from the Exilva blog to read more.

One of the benefits of highly fibrillated cellulose fibrils is its very high surface areaWhen the fibers are torn down to smaller and smaller fibrils, the surface area consequently increases, which leads to new properties and applications. Learn how its extreme water binding capacity, among other properties, may take your product to a new efficiency level. 

How to avoid unstable formulations

Rebecca Blell | August 21, 2018


Many reasons can lead to unstable formulations when you first start testing a new formulation or a new ingredient. Some are due to non-optimized use of ingredients such as stabilizers and others are due to formulation processing or incompatibilities. Sounds familiar? We might have good news for you.

How to counteract formulation settling issues

Rebecca Blell | August 14, 2018


Everyday life is full of formulations containing solid particles, pigments, beads or fillers. Depending on the application, the formulations may have a varying amount of solids. Common challenges with high solid content formulations are the settling of heavy particles or the floating of lighter ones. Therefore, it is important to ensure the stability of the solids suspended in a formulation. Especially those with high particle loading such as a coating formulation with matting agents, UV filters and other solids.

How can I make my batteries safer?

Otto Soidinsalo | August 7, 2018


You may have read about the issues related to lithium-ion batteries lately. Situations where the batteries have swelled or even caused a fire or an explosion. The question is, could cellulose fibrils be used to prevent these issues? Or would there be other functions in the batteries where the fibrils would be useful or even open new opportunities?

Paint formulators face many challenges in today’s market, and are continuously in search of new innovative raw materials to satisfy the needs of their customers. In an effort to reduce cost, improve technical properties, and fulfill more stringent environmental regulations, chemists have started to look toward a class of products known as microspheres.

A familiar problem for producers of coatings and polyolefins is what literature calls blocking. When blocking occurs, it is the coatings ability to create adhesion to itself that causes the problems. There are many available technologies for avoiding this, in which some are synthetically derived, and others are derived directly from nature. Could a bio-based alternative give you the effect you are looking for? If you are looking for some ideas, this is the blog post to read.

Cellulose fibrils have been written and talked about for years. A substantial amount of reports have been written prospecting all sorts of application areas. Based on its functionalities, it seems to be a good rheology modifier, a good stabilizer and it is showing substantial strength enhancement. But is there any proof to the pudding and where do we find the latest developments? I have tried to gather a couple of relevant examples for you, which to me are fairly new developments. Dig into this week’s blog post to find out what they are!

The technology of shotcrete. Can we eliminate rebound problems?

Harrison Gallantree-Smith | July 10, 2018


Shotcrete is concrete or mortar pneumatically projected at high velocity through a nozzle. Its components are aggregates, cement and water, and it can be complemented by fine materials, chemical additives and reinforcing fibers. Shotcrete can be applied with mechanized equipment or manually, using wet-mix or dry-mix spraying. The choice of the spraying method depends on the dimensions of the project, the quantity of concrete to be applied, as well as the logistical and environmental circumstances. Some important properties of shotcrete are the appropriate consistency and early strength development in its fresh state as well as compressive strength and durability in its hardened state. Let´s discuss some basic properties and functionalities.

Biodegradable packaging with cellulose fibrils

Anni Karppinen | July 3, 2018


Cellulose-based materials, like paper and board, are commonly used in packaging. They are light-weight, durable, bio-based and easily recyclable which have made them a popular packaging material. However, paper and board lack the necessary barrier properties for food packaging and therefore an additional barrier layer is often added on the paper. Today, this layer is made from polymers, like polyethylene terephthalate or polyethylene, or aluminium. There are efforts to replace these materials with bio-based, biodegradable films in order to reduce the dependency on crude oil as well as reduce the impact on the environment.

Our blog post of the week is today a really exciting one! We have been so fortunate to interview Peter Küker, who is a technical manager at Covestro in Germany. Peter has been working with cellulose fibrils in a project at Covestro for some time, and today he is sharing his views and experience on utilizing the fibrils in some of the Covestro formulations for adhesives. Don't miss out on this opportunity to learn more about the actual experience of utilizing the effect from the fibrils on rheology, dispersion and material handling.

Controlling rheology in very acidic or alkaline environments can be a tricky challenge. Different products ranging from examples like concrete to, your household cleaning products, are very different on pH. Extreme pH conditions can decrease the efficiency and functionality of some rheology additives, but there are some available alternatives. This post will try to give you some ideas on how the technology of cellulose fibrils can interact in your formulation and make sure you stay in control over your product´s rheology under difficult circumstances. And why is this ability from the cellulose giving you this benefit?

Bio-based is on everyone's lips these days, and there are a high number of initiatives going on in innovating new product systems with a bio-based background. In this post I will give you a sneak peak into the improvement of an organic solvent system, using a biobased additive as an example. Cellulose fibrils is a green and environmentally friendly material that consists of a complex three dimensional network of cellulose microfibrils.

Are you looking for a new additive for controlling rheology? In this article if will give you an explanation of the typical and well known rheology additive, and the Exilva Microfibrillated cellulose. 

Ever heard about bouligand structures or tunicates? And how are these topics relating to nanocellulose? This week’s research review is giving you a summary of some really exciting news relating to strength performance from nanocellulose (nanocrystalline cellulose). In addition, we are bringing you news on nanocellulose as an art-preservation aid. Spend 4 minutes and read through some really interesting updates.

One of my favourite characteristics of the cellulose fibrils is its behaviour when drying or involved in the drying process of a product system. I have learned through some of our conducted tests that cellulose fibrils can act in an interesting and often beneficial way towards obtaining desired end product characteristics. Most of the examples on how the fibrils influence the drying are related to coatings. I however believe that similar behavior is possible to observe in application areas where a tight control of dry-out properties is desired. Evaporation of solvents is often the main technique for drying in many applications. I will therefore focus my blog post this time on this specific drying technique. Let me share some very interesting insights into why cellulose fibrils are improving the products upon drying.

OK, so this case fascinated me a great deal. I have previously learned a lot on film forming properties, oxygen barrier properties and other related topics to this in the past. But recently I learned that the properties from microfibrillated cellulose and cellulose fibrils is starting to show potential in art preservation or conservation. But how does this take place, and what’s the main functionalities behind all this? I spent some time researching the subject, and today I am sharing my findings with you. Some key words: stability, transparency and mechanical strength. Dig in to learn more!

Cellulose fibrils for printed electronics

Anni Karppinen | May 8, 2018


Printed electronics suit well for the current mega trends, like internet of things and growing interest in monitoring your own health. The products produced by printed electronics vary from displays and sensors to energy storage and flexible conductors. For example, small sensors can be printed on food packaging to follow the quality of food as well as warn the consumer when the product is out of date. For such reasons, the interest for developing materials for printed electronics is growing. How can cellulose fibrils and other cellulose based materials be used in such applications?

Nanopaper preparation with KTH

Anastasia Riazanova | May 1, 2018


Making nanopaper is an good test on the characteristics of cellulose fibrils, and especially strength and durability. In this weeks blog from the Exilva blog, our H2020 partners at KTH are showing you how to make the nanopaper in a "step-by-step" practical example. The making of nanopaper quickly illustrates the strength performance you can get from this material once it forms paper or film. Spend a couple of minutes, and you will quickly understand why this material can take a leading part in the dual focus of increased sustainability and performance.

Cellulose fibrils are most often supplied as readily activated water suspensions. This maintains the product’s performance and makes it easy to incorporate into a formulation. It however brings up questions about the microbial stability of the suspension over time. Is the robustness of Cellulose fibrils enough in this case?

Why should I use cellulose fibrils in coatings?

Ole Martin Kristiansen | April 17, 2018


It is important for producers of coatings to control flow and stability. The way to do this in water borne systems has typically been a work for synthetically derived additives, water-soluble cellulose derivatives or clays. Can cellulose fibrils do anything new for you?

Is microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) the same as nanocellulose? What is the difference between micro- and nanofibrillated cellulose? What about cellulose nanocrystals and cellulose fibrils? Starting to read about MFC (or nanocellulose) might be confusing since the terms used for nano- and micro-sized cellulosic materials are versatile. Moreover, they are not totally established, so the same material can have different names or the same terms can be used for very different kind of materials. In this post, I will introduce the most common terms and distinguish synonyms from different materials.

Continuously following the world of cellulose fibrils and the development is both dynamic and interesting. A lot of new inventions are taking place, based on the cellulose fibrils. We have given 3D printing a quite high focus in the last couple of reviews, but this week there are two other news items on the list: composites made from cellulose fibrils. Dig into this week’s research review to find out more on what might possibly be the next generation of composite materials.

The performance coatings sector has seen decades of development to protect installations and transportation equipment. The sector has been highly dominated by solvent based systems and these systems have seen incremental innovations for a long period of time.

Never heard of Cellulose Fibrils, like microfibrillated cellulose (often referred to as nanocellulose)? Don't worry, I will guide you through the things you need to know. It is a completely new additive made from natural raw materials, designed to provide yield stress, shear thinning, stability and barrier improvements. It is the natural alternative to outperform current oil-based technologies. I will during this article give you a quick overview of what cellulose fibrils, using the example of Exilva microfibrillated cellulose, is and how it can benefit you.

Acoustic and dielectric properties of nanocellulose

Otto Soidinsalo | March 13, 2018


Nanocellulose has been a hot topic for several years and numerous applications have been proposed, some of them more potential than the others. The major limitation for the wider use of nanocellulose has been the limited commercial availability. The term nanocellulose, however, covers several different types of nano- and microfibrillated and fibrillar cellulose products. One of those is bacterial cellulose which is also more commonly referred as bio-cellulose. It might come as a surprise for many of us, but bio-cellulose is in fact present in several commercially available products. One of those were the legendary Sony MDR-R10 headphones which were introduced already as early as 1988.

Dust control with cellulose fibrils

Anni Karppinen | March 6, 2018


Dust originating from abrasion of dry materials can cause a danger to the health and environment. One of the industries that is paying a lot of attention to dust control is the seed treatment industry. Seed treatments are an essential part of today’s agriculture and it means applying the crop protections products, like insecticides and fungicides, directly on the seeds before planting. This is regarded as an effective way to apply the crop protection products and can reduce the needed amount of the products in total. However, the applied substances can start wearing off from the seeds when they are transported and handled which can cause unhealthy dust. 

Dr. Julien Bras from the Grenoble Institute of Techonology has been working in the field of cellulose fibrils, nanocellulose and microfibrillated cellulose for two decades. He is considered as one of the pioneers on the concept as we know it today. In this 5 minutes chat with Dr. Bras, we touched upon several topics regarding this new material. Do not miss out on the opportunity to listen in to Dr, Bras ideas one some of the directions the cellulose fibrils and nanocellulose will be taking in the future. 

Why cellulose fibrils is a completely new cellulose product

Ole Martin Kristiansen | February 20, 2018


Cellulose fibrils has been present in the academic sector since the 1980’s, but it is completely newborn in a commercial sense. I experience from time to time that the mix up between cellulose fibrils and soluble cellulose (polymers) can create issues in understanding the full potential of the fibrils within a formulation. In this blog post I will try to give you a brief overview of why cellulose fibrils is quite different from the other types of cellulose products as you have learned to know them.

Temperature stability of cellulose fibrils

Anni Karppinen | February 13, 2018


Typically, when using polymeric rheology modifiers, the viscosity of a formulation decreases with increasing temperature and the polymers can even degrade at higher temperatures. This can cause problems for the manufacturer or user, like instability of the formulation or difficulties in application. Cellulose fibrils and cellulose in general are stable against temperatures up to 200-300 °C, which makes them a good choice when a temperature stable viscosity modifier is needed. Earlier, we have described how you can achieve a stable viscosity in your formulation with cellulose fibrils in the temperature range of 20-90 °C. This time I would like to discuss what happens when we go over 100 °C, either in wet or dry state.

Within the field of nanocellulose and cellulose fibrils, there is an increasingly rapid pace of new developments, where the cellulose fibrils either appear on its own or as a part of an advanced relationship between several performance enhancers. Today I have collected two highly interesting, but very separate news articles for you, but where the common denominator is the ability to retrieve strength and performance from these types of materials. Enjoy!

Topic Tuesday: High temperature stability with cellulose fibrils

Ole Martin Kristiansen | January 30, 2018


Another episode of Topic Tuesday where we break down the rheological profile of cellulose fibrils under certain conditions. This week we will show you the robustness of your product's rheology profile under different temperatures when using cellulose fibrils.

There are many different solutions for reducing wrinkles and age marks on the skin. These range from long term permanent treatments of the skin to formulations that have immediate, temporary and only optical effects on the skin. In most formulations and products, a combination of a permanent solution with an immediate effect is desired.

Nanocellulose – future of medical devices

Otto Soidinsalo | January 16, 2018


If you google the word medical device, you will get pictures of sophisticated hospital equipment and diagnostic devices. In practice, a term medical device is wider than just that and covers a range of different kinds of articles, starting from plasters and bandages to endosseous implants and implantable pacemakers, intended to be used for therapeutic purposes of humans or animals. We have previously written about the role of MFC in wound care products and today we are going to take a step deeper to the current status of nanocellulose in medical devices, especially topical and implantable ones.

Shifting paradigms: introducing alternative technologies

Ole Martin Kristiansen | January 9, 2018


This week’s blog post started its life when I attended a stakeholder forum which was organized by the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBIJU), a part of the EU H2020 initiative. I listened to a high number of innovators within several fields such as bio-fuels, bio-chemicals, as well as new and more sustainable materials. I started a line of thought, where the word paradigm occurred to me; I am part of a generation raised in the latter part of the 20th century where a majority of things we take for granted are based on technologies from the petroleum sector. The paradigm has given opportunities and challenges, but how does this paradigm affect us and our thoughts on innovation?

[VIDEO] Topic Tuesday: Thixotropy - the recovery after shear

Ole Martin Kristiansen | January 2, 2018


This weeks topic is a follow-up from our last Topic Tuesday. Then we talked about the shear thinning properties of cellulose fibrils. Now, we show you the recovery effect and properties - the thixotropy - of the cellulose fibrils back to its original viscosity. With practical examples! 

Hello 2018! We greet you with our 2017's top 10 blog posts

Ole Martin Kristiansen | December 28, 2017


Yet another year in the name of innovating with cellulose fibrils has gone by. And again we are thrilled over the engagement and response our readers has shown and given us.  As we continue to learn more on these amazing fibrils, we will make sure you are the first to know, also in 2018. While waiting, here are the top 10 most read blog posts in 2017. 

I stumbled over an article the other day, grasping the opportunity that’s emerging in relation to making electronics based on cellulose sources. The world around us is in an exponential pace making innovations in electronics. So I asked myself the question after reading the article I in this blog post will refer to: can we make smarter electronics with paper-based versions?

What makes cellulose fibrils a good oxygen barrier

Anni Karppinen | December 21, 2017


Cellulose fibrils has shown great potential as an oxygen barrier in packaging. This has led to numerous research projects trying to utilize the potential in practice. But how does the fibrils actually create the barrier towards oxygen?

Shear thinning and the viscosity as a function of shear rate is a key parameter to control in products like for example water-based paint & coatings. Paint & Coating systems are often non-newtonian and the control of the shear thinning behavior is critical to avoid problems with sagging and leveling. Rheology additives like HEUR, HASE and Nanocellulose are often use to bring increased shear thinning performance and control to the paint & coating systems. In this Topic Tuesday, we are providing you with some more general information on how the shear thinning from nanocellulose works and how you can use it to improve the rheological performance from your products.

Water holding capacity - how cellulose fibrils does it

Anni Karppinen | December 12, 2017


Water holding capacity, or high water retention value, is often mentioned as a key property of cellulose fibrils. When it is dispersed into water, the fibrils trap water between them and do not release it easily. As a consequence, even rather low concentration of MFC in water has gel-like appearance since the water is not able to flow freely. What is behind this? Let’s try to find out.

Biodegradability of cellulose fibrils

Anni Karppinen | December 5, 2017


Plastic microparticles found in the environment have gotten a lot of attention lately. Many of the plastics are very durable and do not degrade in a reasonable time in the nature, although today there are also biodegradable plastics available. Small pieces of plastic can be found almost everywhere on the Earth and it is not fully understood what kind of consequences that could have for the human beings and environment. Therefore, replacing non-biodegradable plastics with biodegradable materials in packaging, clothes and cosmetics has high focus right now. Cellulose fibrils come from wood or other natural resources; are they biodegradable? Can they replace non-biodegradable plastic and reduce the amount of microplastics in the environment?

Once again, welcome to Topic Tuesday, brought to you by the Exilva Blog. Topic Tuesday is dedicated to one specific topic, providing you with information on cellulose fibrils straight from the top of our head. Today we will introduce you to cellulose fibrils' compatibility and performance with various solvents

Montmorillonite Clay (Bentonites) and cellulose fibrils

Ole Martin Kristiansen | November 21, 2017


Montmorillonite (Bentonite) clay and cellulose fibrils has a lot in common since they both can be used as a rheology modifier in different industries. However, there are also clear distinct differences. I aim to show you how I reflect on these two product technologies, and how you can look for synergies and new innovations when using cellulose fibrils and clay. I will first review the non-soluble nature which is common for these materials and then show how this is reflected in the rheology and stability properties of each. I will also focus my discussion on the bentonite branch of montmorillonite clays due to its similarities with the cellulose fibrils

[VIDEO] Topic Tuesday: Dispersion and Tip Speed

Ole Martin Kristiansen | November 14, 2017


Welcome to the first of our brand new video series; Topic Tuesday, brought to you by the Exilva Blog. Topic Tuesday is dedicated to one specific topic, providing you with information on cellulose fibrils straight from the top of our head. We'll kick it all of with a discussion about the importance of correct dispersion and how the effect of tip speed affects the end result.

Traveling around talking about microfibrillated cellulose for the past 8 years, has thought me an important lesson; always make sure that people understand how to disperse the fibrils sufficiently. This is really the main factor in gaining the key functionalities from the product. So how can you make sure that you are getting the most out of the cellulose fibrils when you are using it in your formulation? In this article I will give you some guidance and video tool on to how to get this right from the start.

I have been working with cellulose fibrils for over 6 years now, and every day there seems to be new opportunities for this product. It occurred to me the other day that my cleaning product at home contained fairly rough abrasives, enabling me to clean off dirt and stains. In the field of cleaning, this is called “agitation” and is part of the C-H-A-T cleaning formula: Chemical-Heat-Agitation-Time. Could this be something for cellulose fibrils? Let me share with you a couple of my thoughts on where the cellulose fibrils may give you some functionality.

The difference between soluble polymers and cellulose fibrils

Ole Martin Kristiansen | October 24, 2017


Water soluble polymers have been used for decades, bringing various functionalities to a high number of applications. The reason for their popularity is the ability to being customized by changing molecular weight and molecular chain length, their high efficiency in use (especially the ones with high molecular weight), and their relatively simple handling. However, in certain cases polymeric viscosifiers fail to offer the needed performance and microfibrillated cellulose can offer exactly the desired properties.

As usual, the landscape of cellulose fibrils and nanocellulose is moving, with both academia and commercial producers introducing new concepts and products. This week, I picked up on two distinct stories which I found interesting; VTT in Finland has been working on 3D printing for wound care and decoration, while the Norwegian University of Science and Technology together with the University of Calgary is looking into how the nanocellulose can improve oil recovery rates.

As a new boy in the world of cellulose fibrils, I am steadily getting an overview of what potential users of cellulose fibrils are interested in. The unique combination of properties that cellulose fibrils has is the obvious point most are interested in. In addition, the natural and renewable aspect to the material and the possibility to replace oil-based chemicals is becoming more and more important. But could there be more than that?

What has cellulose fibrils to do with air quality?

Otto Soidinsalo | October 3, 2017


You might have noticed how the air quality around us is changing constantly. Do you remember the last time that you have filled your lungs with fresh and clean air? Every day we are exposed to pollutants in the air we breathe - chemicals as well as fine particles - whether we are staying outdoors or indoors. This problem not only affects the people in developing countries, but the majority of the population on Earth.

2017 has been a year of record storms and hurricanes. In August and September, the hurricanes lined up in the Atlantic and entered into populated areas one after another. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the US reports that the statistics show an upward trend, also correlating to the size and magnitude of these hurricanes. The statistical data show uncertainties during the period from 1880s to 2016, but NOAA believes that the trend (based on research) shows a significant increase both in frequency and magnitude going forward. Why do I start my blog post on a nanocellulose blog with this? Well, because the link NOAA put between the Atlantic hurricane trends and global warming is obvious.

What is the effect of MFC on emulsion stability

Rebecca Blell | September 19, 2017


Have you heard the saying “Oil and water don’t mix”? This is a proverb said of things with such different natures that they cannot be combined. It is however not totally true since oil and water can be mixed into an emulsion. In many different industries such as cosmetics, pharma, paints, coatings, household products and many more, professionals mix different oils and water to create the desired performance of a product. They overcome the hurdle of “mixing” oil and water by using emulsifiers, surfactants and stabilizers. So how can MFC contribute?

Nanocellulose Research Review: Commercial update Sept. 2017

Ole Martin Kristiansen | September 5, 2017


The field of nanocellulose, fibrils of cellulose and microfibrillated cellulose is moving rapidly in the direction of full commercialization. Still, there are many undescribed application areas that are appearing, with higher and lower levels of innovation. In this week’s review, I am covering two very interesting stories; the increased interest from Japanese motor industry in utilizing the nanocellulose as components for their vehicles, and 3D printing of a nanocellulose alginate product.

Governments around the world are pushing industries to reduce their volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. VOCs include very different type of chemicals but they may be dangerous to human health and therefore there is a common desire to reduce the use of them. Health effects vary from eye, nose and throat irritation to causing cancer.

One of the advantages of cellulosic materials (including nanocellulose and microfibrillated cellulose (MFC)) compared to synthetic materials, is their environmentally friendly profile as well as their biodegradability. This profile is impacted by the number of chemical reactions the product will undergo during the manufacturing process. It would therefore be favorable to obtain desired chemical properties via physical adsorption instead of chemical reactions.

3 things to remember when using MFC in the lab

Otto Soidinsalo | August 15, 2017


Introducing a totally new material or technology to the market can often be challenging. Most people tend to have their favorite products which they know and prefer to work with. The natural way of testing of a new material is to compare it with the current products and apply the existing working routines to the first test runs. In some cases this approach might work but unfortunately in many cases it leads to a failure.

Wound dressings are advanced materials designed for securing sufficient healing of exterior wounds. These dressings have been around for a while, often containing hydrocolloids to be able to protect and absorb moist as well as increase the wound healing speed.  I will  give you a short overview of what types of wound dressings that are available and how microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) may give a new addition to this field of technology.

The role of MFC in flexible displays and electronics

Otto Soidinsalo | August 1, 2017


The transformation from cathode ray tubes to LCD displays has been rapid since the early 2000s. We now have thinner, lighter and bigger screens available with affordable prices. You have probably also seen pictures of flexible displays and read stories about flexible mobile phones and foldable screens. I'm sure many of you have also thought if we really need those and would it in the end be practical to have a foldable display in your pocket. Probably not, but flexible displays allow new product opportunities for many industries such as car industry and consumer products. However, one of the biggest drivers for the flexible displays is actually related to the manufacturing of the displays.

The future of Aerospace, and its demand for new materials

Ole Martin Kristiansen | July 25, 2017


Innovation in aerospace technologies is moving forward with a very high pace. Since the mid-1990s we have seen the birth of much more energy efficient propulsion systems, increased use of advanced materials like carbon fiber, a higher level of adhesives used and improved customer experience through noise reduction. So what’s next on the agenda for all the companies involved? Can we continue to improve the materials or have we started to reach the end of optimization? And are there any new materials coming that could be part of changing the game yet again? 

Can MFC assist formulators of car care products achieve the next level of performance? Can it offer ease of use for consumers and car care professionals, while at the same time using safer, more environmentally friendly additives with a wide range of functionality? I think the answer is yes, and I will show you why.

The open time, wet edge or lapping of a coating is a measure of how much time an air dry coating takes to reach a stage where it can no longer be applied by brush or roller to the same "wet" coating without leaving an indication on drying that the "wet" and newly applied coating did not quite flow together. Therefore, the advantage of having good open time in a stain would result in better general appearance of the stain.

Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) differs from many rheology modifiers in that aspect that it can be used in high salinity formulations. The rheology effect comes from entangled fibers and salts do not influence this network as it does when the rheology effect is based on ionic interactions. However, the viscosity and other rheological properties vary slightly as a function of salt concentration. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons behind this.

Three dimensional (3D) printing and tissue engineering are two fields that are currently developing rapidly and are both exciting technologies on their own. What if you combine them? That creates a new manufacturing process, bioprinting. It is a promising technology that might be the key to the on-demand tissue engineering. Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) or nanocellulosic materials generally have an important role in the development.

Intimate relationships – cellulose and epoxy

Lars Berglund | June 6, 2017


Professor Lars Berglund, Head of the Biocomposites Division at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (Sweden), guides us through the relationship between cellulose and epoxy in this blog post. Not only do they matter, the properties created by this reaction are also excellent. Learn more about this in this weeks guest blog post.

There are many exciting new innovations coming through in the field of nanocellulose and microfibrillated cellulose these days. In this week’s news on MFC, read about innovations ranging from artificial silk production to stand up pouches.

MFC and its resistance to heat: Can it create opportunities?

Ole Martin Kristiansen | May 23, 2017


Microfibrillated cellulose is an interesting rheology additive in several aspects due to its multi-functionalities. It can create pseudoplastic behaviour in flowing systems, prevent cracking of curing systems, improve barrier properties of cured systems, just to name a few opportunities. However, one of its less known characteristics is its ability to perform under a range of different temperatures, without losing the ability to provide the desired viscosity profile. I will in this week’s post focus on how MFC performs at high temperatures in the liquid phases and how it performs in comparison to more well-known rheology additives.

Sharper inkjet images without nozzle clogging

Otto Soidinsalo | May 16, 2017


Have you ever had problems with your inkjet printer? I bet that several people have experienced that during the years. The typical pattern is as follows: Your printer has been lying unused on your desk for weeks when suddenly you have an urgent need to print something. Often the outcome is that either the printing is messy or you end up having a blank paper in your hand. This is usually due to the drying of the ink on the printer head which is also known as nozzle clogging.

In many end products, and specifically in cosmetics, the first thing that attracts the consumer is the packaging format. This implies that the packaging should look good and luxurious as a sign of product performance.

There is a high number of new developments going on in the field of microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) and nanocellulose these days. For example, there are several global initiatives on saving the world from the excess of plastic materials and their pollution by utilizing MFC and nanocellulose. Another hot topic is successful implants of 3D printed nanocellulose being created in Sweden. My third pick of the week is reducing plastic in packaging by biodegradable material being developed in Canada. Let’s take a closer look at this week’s compilation of news from the world of MFC and nanocellulose.

Is MFC compatible with surfactants?

Rebecca Blell | April 11, 2017


Have you run into problems with incompatibilities between the surfactant you would like to use and other ingredients in your formulation? This is a common problem since surfactants are quite versatile in charge and chemical structure as well as in functionalities. This could for example lead to undesired interactions with oppositely charged ingredients.

Many strategy processes start with the question “how can we improve our business?”. This is a question leading to many possible routes, but keeping in touch with where the major lines and trends around you are moving is always important. In our increasingly disruptive age, many of the drivers for new strategy are coming from the functionality of new products or solutions. So how can you as an industrial company keep your company in front of the rest or obtain that situation? I will show you some of my ideas on how you, by utilizing already available solutions out there, can take the necessary steps to ensure you’re the one who disrupts, not being the one that’s disrupted.

A lot of work on the MFC and nanocellulose is going on in an increased amount of business fields, all over the globe. We have seen a significant pick up in the strength and reinforcement functionalities of microfibrillated cellulose during the last 6-12 months, where its ability to provide significant strength improvements is clear. This week we have collected three new interesting areas of giving strength and barrier improvements, with exciting opportunities like bone construction with 3D printing, carbon fiber replacement, and water purification. This is your Exilva blog on exciting innovation, don’t miss out on our collection of news this week, and enjoy your reading!

Oil recovery with all different operations is a fascinating field for a rheologist since so versatile rheological properties are required in the processes. Microfibrillated cellulose has been recognized as potential green, safe rheology modifier for the oil recovery industry. Why is that?

Having trouble producing stable foams?

Anni Karppinen | February 28, 2017


Making foams, in other words introducing gas in a solid or liquid, is needed in industries like construction, composites, home care and personal care. Solid foam is a clever way to produce lightweight structures and insulation materials, whereas many personal care and detergent formulations are required to form a liquid foam.

Nanocellulose market development in Japan

Pål Romberg | February 21, 2017


Japanese companies have worked with the cellulose nanofibers (CNF) for more than 20 years and are in the forefront when it comes to technology and application development. You could really say that nanocellulose is big in Japan. In this article we bring you the latest on the market development. 

In my previous blog post, I covered the characteristics of microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) and fumed silica as raw materials used for industrial purposes. I focused on how MFC provides a viable alternative to fumed silica in many applications since they both have large surface areas with similar surface active groups. However, the physical network properties of the two materials differ and may lead to new and exciting discoveries in the end products.

The market for packaging and packaging solutions is expected to grow in the next four years due to factors like increased online shopping*. At the same time, the demand for sustainable packaging becomes more evident. In this article, we explore the compatibility of MFC with PLA and discuss what could be the benefits of such a mixture in various packaging products. 

From time to time I get comments from people interested in microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) that they cannot dissolve the product, and the formulation remains hazy no matter how much they mix. Alternatively, they ask how low the concentration needs to be to get a transparent formulation. The answer to these questions is that microfibrillated cellulose does not dissolve in water (or in common solvents) which means that it does not make a transparent solution, no matter how much it is mixed or how low concentration is used. There is no need to worry, however; the non-dissolved fibers are the key factor to the interesting behavior of MFC. Let’s look at the translucency of MFC in more detail.

The biggest change in the coffee culture in recent years has been the way people prepare their coffee at home. An increasing number of households use single serve brewing (pods, capsules) for producing a fresh cup of coffee, resulting in an increased amount of waste. Replacing the current coffee packing materials is not straightforward, and obviously there are several challenges related to it. In this blog post I will play with the idea how microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) could support the development of new, more environmentally friendly, compostable or biodegradable coffee capsules.

MFC commercial review: new industrial projects announced

Ole Martin Kristiansen | January 10, 2017


2017 looks exciting regarding the commercial use of microfibrillated cellulose (MFC). New industrial applications pop up regularly as the opportunities with MFC become clearer, and the availability of MFC improves. For example, MFC is known to strengthen composite materials, but the real value comes from the combination of properties that MFC can bring to certain applications, as demonstrated in the two examples below.

The first thing that usually comes to mind when hearing the word incontinence is diapers. These large pants almost impossible to hide and wear without someone noticing them. However, the product targeted for adult incontinence are in most cases pads, which are either in the form of underpants or attached to your underwear. Since people suffering from incontinence still want to live normal, active life, the industry is targeting thinner, discrete, but at the same time more efficient products to wear under regular clothes. So the question is, how will microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) fit into this picture?

Cellulose is a renewable and sustainable material and is one of the most abundant natural polymers on earth. Traditionally, cellulose materials have been sold either as a material at the fiber level or as modified celluloses at the molecular level. Currently, there is a high interest in utilizing the full potential of cellulose, and development and commercialization of cellulose materials possessing other structural dimensions are continuously progressing. Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) has been used commercially for decades. In recent years, the scientific work has focused mainly on two different types of celluloses; microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) and nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC).

In a previous blog post, I was focusing on the differences and similarities between MFC and MCC. In this continuation blog post, I will give you a comparison of MFC and Nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC).

We're Wrapping up 2016 – the top 10 blog post on The Exilva Blog

Ole Martin Kristiansen | December 23, 2016


It has been an amazing first year for The Exilva Blog and we’ve been proved that the entrance of Microfibrillated Cellulose in a commercial way, excites a massive group out there. We are already more than eager to start the New Year and share more of our experiences, knowledge and ideas with you. First, let us wrap up the first year of blogging with a top 10 Special Edition.

Cellulose is a renewable and sustainable material and is one of the most abundant natural polymers on earth. Traditionally, cellulose materials have been sold either as a material at the fiber level or as modified celluloses at the molecular level.

Currently, there is a high interest in utilizing the full potential of cellulose, and development and commercialization of cellulose materials possessing other structural dimensions are continuously progressing. Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) has been used commercially for decades. In recent years, the scientific work has focused mainly on two different types of celluloses; microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) and nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC).

Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) and fumed silica are both used for controlling the rheology of liquid systems, such as thixotropy and stability, and may be used within the same field of applications giving similar properties. However, there are also profound differences between the two. For example, where MFC is a natural product derived from cellulose-based raw materials, the native hydrophilic fumed silica is an amorphous, colloidal silicon dioxide prepared by a flame hydrolysis process. So why can two such, at first glance, different products be used in similar applications? In this blog post, I will dig more into detail about the two multifunctional additives, and discuss how their similarities and differences may affect application properties.

The use of cellulose in the form of filter paper is known for long. Still, we see limited use in water purification since most of the impurities flow through a standard filter paper. What happens if we use cellulose micro- or nanofibers instead to make paper or flat sheets? How do these sustainable materials perform in water purification applications? Our guest writer, Assoc. Prof. Aji Mathew, shares her thoughts.

Two ways to ensure storage stability of MFC

Rebecca Blell | November 22, 2016


A unique character of MFC is that it normally comes as a water suspension and at very low concentrations, in some cases as low as 2% of active matter in water. This is a positive feature in the sense that non-dry MFC is readily activated and easy to introduce into various formulations.

MFC review: What’s new in the world of mfc/nanocellulose?

Ole Martin Kristiansen | November 15, 2016



A lot is happening in the world of microfibrillated cellulose and nanocellulose these days. One hot topic is new, engineered materials with MFC. As an example, our blog post on safer batteries with MFC sees a lot of interest, and the ability for MFC to enter into composite materials is an expanding field.  In this week’s post, I will try to give you an update on what’s happening with MFC (and nanocellulose) out there, with a focus on the interesting application fields of materials/composites and water purification.

Developing a new kind of material is fascinating work and requires many innovations before the product is available for the market. One important part of the development work is to find analysis methods t for characterizing the quality. Those methods should ideally describe the material well but also be reproducible and reliable. Often this is ensured by using standard methods, but for new materials, like microfibrillated cellulose (MFC), they do not exist yet. Even though some work has been initiated by Canadian Standards Association (Z5100-14 Cellulosic nanomaterials – Test methods for characterization) and TAPPI, there are no proper guidelines for analysis of MFC yet. As a guidance to those unfamiliar with microfibrillated cellulose, I will share my tips for a reliable, reproducible analysis of MFC.

Cosmetic products are one of the most exciting application areas for microfibrillated cellulose (MFC). The opportunities within this field are almost endless as Mr. Rainer Kröpke from Cosmacon GmbH has learned when working with MFC in cosmetic applications. Mr. Kröpke has a long experience in formulating cosmetic products first at Beiersdorf (Germany) and since 2012 as a consultant. Read below his interview where he shares his experiences with all our blog readers.

How MFC affects light transmission and reflection

Marvin Hars | September 20, 2016


Microfibrillated Cellulose (MFC) is known for its high surface area and large amount of available functional OH groups that provide an outstanding chemical and physical interaction. In addition, due to the strong 3D network, MFC gives a new dimension of stability to various formulations like adhesives, coatings, emulsions, dispersions and so on. In our previous articles, we have already talked about different benefits of using MFC, such as open time or spraying thick formulations. With paints and coatings, the ability to control light transmission and reflection is important.  Now your next question is: How can MFC affect this in any way? Follow me and let’s find out!

The future of MFC: Applications and uses

Ole Martin Kristiansen | September 13, 2016


Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) is already present in a variety of applications, like adhesives, coatings, cosmetics and so on. But where will the future applications of this new material be? Will we find new functionalities from the MFC and how will it work?  My aim with this post is to inspire you to open your mind and let your ideas flow on how you can create a better product using the MFC.

Among the many potential applications of cellulosic nanomaterials, one of the most promising is the use of microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) to enhance the surface of paper products. The vast majority of paper products, from cardstock to fast-food packaging, receive some type of functional coating during manufacturing to improve end-use performance. Coatings can impart many different properties to paper products, including water, oil and grease resistance, reproduction quality, absorbency and smoothness. Many different materials are used to coat paper surfaces ranging from minerals, natural and synthetic binders, and polymers.

MFC Review: news from the patent world

Inger Mari Nygård Vold | August 30, 2016


On the Exilva blog, we will on regular basis bring you selected news from the latest application research both by the industry as well as academic sources. In this blog post, I’ve picked two examples from recently published patent applications, representing the use of MFC in material science and biomedical applications.

Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) has many properties wanted in cosmetic products: good skin feel, desired rheological properties and improved stability of formulations. Moreover, it is a natural raw material, an increasing trend in cosmetics. MFC is made of natural cellulose sources and can be prepared by different processes. Both the source and the process determine the composition of the MFC and possible impurities that the MFC could have. It is, therefore, essential to have good control of both the composition of the material (see also our blog post about the raw materials of MFC) and of the process to prepare it. This is especially true when it is to be used in certain applications. Cosmetic products are an example of applications where the purity of MFC is essential since it affects us, our society and our environment all at once. 

MFC & Life Cycle assessment

Ole Martin Kristiansen | August 16, 2016


Sustainability is a widely used concept, but it is critical to understand what it means and that it is more than just a bunch of production data or a waste reduction plan. Cradle-to-cradle thinking is necessary. The whole life cycle, the production, the use and the disposal of the end product matters.

Over the last several years consumers have become more and more aware of the environmental impact of cosmetic products. Indeed cosmetic products end up down the drain and in the water system after a shower. The trend today is, therefore, to use natural raw materials to replace synthetic ingredients and reduce the environmental impact.

MFC review – news from academia

Anni Karppinen | July 5, 2016


Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) is subject to high interest from both academia and the industry these days. A lot of exciting research is being conducted at various universities and research centers around the world. In this blog post I will review articles I found particularly interesting regarding the use of MFC in adhesives and coatings. Note that, for the sake of simplicity, I have used the term “MFC” throughout this text even if the researchers might have used a different name in their articles. 

Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) has potential as a multifunctional additive in various applications. Its performance  ranges from improving stability and flow properties in coatings and adhesives to giving immediate anti-wrinkle effect in skin creams. We often say that, in addition to these effects, one of the other advantages of using MFC is that it is “readily activated”. But what does that mean?

How to make PESTICIDES more effective?

Anni Karppinen | June 12, 2016


Effective pest control is an essential part of modern food production. Different pesticide products, like herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides, are used to ensure healthy growth of the crop and efficient land use. In addition to the active ingredient in the pesticide, auxiliary components can be added to the pesticide formulation or separately to the spray tank. These auxiliary elements are also called adjuvants, and they are used to ensure the effect of pesticides in different environmental conditions. Typically adjuvants can improve the biological activity of the herbicides by, for instance, reducing spray drift, increasing the wetting of the plant surface or enhancing the uptake of the herbicide into the plant leaves. Let me present two cases where microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) can help to improve the performance of pesticides.

What is new in the world of MFC/Nanocellulose?

Ole Martin Kristiansen | June 7, 2016


In the exiting field of microfibrillated cellulose new usage opportunities are constantly emerging. During the first quarter of 2016, we have seen many interesting new usage areas, and I will show you a selection of them in this article.

Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) is a natural and sustainable material derived from cellulose. As for any process, it is important to have good control of the raw material when producing MFC. For cellulose, the picture is slightly more complicated since there are many cellulose sources that can be used as raw material, and each of them will lead to different MFC qualities. In this blog post I will introduce you to different raw materials, how the processing of the different raw materials can affect the MFC quality and how to deal with the natural variations in the raw material.   

Since around year 2000, there has been a notable increase in the number of patent applications filed regarding new MFC materials, new processes for production and new application areas for MFC. The nomenclature used in the field of MFC varies (nanocellulose, cellulose nanofibers, nanocellulosic fibers etc). In this blog post, I will give you a summary of a few interesting patent applications recently published, using the “original” nomenclature MicroFibrillated Cellulose (MFC).

Currently the world financial situation is such that expensive exploration for new oil wells becomes less and less tempting. The successful oil business today is rather driven by the necessity to extract more oil out of any existing oil well, than previously considered desirable or indeed possible.

Why you should read The Exilva Blog

Ole Martin Kristiansen | March 30, 2016


Welcome to the Exilva blog, brought to you by Borregaard. This is your weekly update on microfibrillated cellulose (MFC). Here you will find articles about MFC characteristics, functionalities and news and tips. Whether you are new to the term "MFC" and its concepts, or experienced within the field, this blog will definitely provide you with some good insights and ideas.


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