Technological Centre

First results of CIEN NOVACELL investigations with cellulose micro and nanoparticles

NOVACELL project Research of new generations of cellulose micro and nanoparticles for use in strategic industrial products is a project of the CIEN call that began in October 2017 and will end in September 2021. The main objective of the NOVACELL project is the use of micro and nano particles of cellulose in new bioeconomy products.


In more detail, the objective of reducing the environmental impact of many technological processes together with the need to safeguard the supply of quality products through an efficient use of natural resources, has led to the birth of the bioeconomy. Around this concept, cellulose can lead to a range of high value-added products such as cellulose micro and nanoparticles, with revolutionary and promising properties. In addition, the inherent hydrophobicity of cellulose arouses a growing interest in the study of its chemical functionalization by adding interesting properties to the material, improving its dispersion in apolar media. Thus, the use of cellulose micro and nanoparticles in strategic products of high added value with latent improvement needs, has a promising future in the main sectors of the economy.


As a result of this situation, from CETIM we have promoted the creation of a multidisciplinary consortium with a high level of business complementarity and knowledge centers, for the research and obtaining of micro and nanoparticles of cellulose from cellulose pulp derived from the Kraft process, and subsequent chemical modification for its study of adaptation in various applications of high added value for the chemical, automotive, paper, cosmetic, compounds and pipes, water treatment, and packaging sectors. Thus, CIEN NOVACELL brings together the entire cellulose value chain and brings together the main industrial and secondary industrial sectors – paper, bioplastics, cosmetics, textiles, chemicals and water.


Promising results. Today, in the framework of the project, research is being carried out at the laboratory level to obtain and modify the nanocelluloses, as well as starting with the investigation of the applications of the nanocellulose obtained in automotive, paper, cosmetics, construction, water and food packaging. The results obtained in the laboratory are promising, and in the coming months the consortium will begin to develop the first proofs of concept and prototypes in their corresponding applications. These proof of concept developments will be extended during 2020 and 2021.

Thus, with CETIM technological support of, ENCE pastry is conducting studies to obtain micro and nanoparticles, CROMOGENIA chemistry investigates the chemical modification of micro and nanocellulose and new PET-based packaging materials, the COPO Group works on coatings Textiles and polyurethane foams, the ABN Pipe Group compourder and extruder investigates specific compounds and high-performance pipeline pipes and the MIQUEL Y COSTAS litter bin in new improved low-weight papers. At seniors, the pharmaceutical company INFINITEC works in encapsulates for the release of active ingredients, and the chemical HYDROCHEMY in membranes for water filtration and removal and recovery of contaminants.


When the project ends, in December 2021, the NOVACELL consortium hopes to have positioned Spain at the forefront of the bioeconomy in Europe through research into the use of micro and nano particles of cellulose in new bio-based, viable technical products and economically for use in industry.