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Hydrophobic Nanocellulose For Bioplastics

Hydrophobic, thermally stable nanocellulose designed for zero waste bioplastic packaging

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Nanocellulose is a safe, non-toxic biodegradable cellulose nanomaterial.  Due to lightweight and mechanical strength, it has been considered as a reinforcing agent for biocomposites.  It is also a liquid crystalline material able to self-assemble to form densely packed thin films.  Thin films of nanocellulose is an effective barrier to oxygen and water vapor. Innotech Materials has developed an innovative technology of producing a hydrophobic nanocellulose using catalytic oxidation of cellulose derivatives. It is isolated as white powders, soluble to organic solvents such acetone and chloroform, and slowly melts at 200 °C to form pale yellow gels.  Thin films prepared from solvent casting is hydrophobic and impervious to water.  Thus, it would be a suitable replacement of plastics for zero waste, bioplastic packaging.

Idea Title

Hydrophobic Nanocellulose for Bioplastics

Company / Organization Name

Innotech Materials has been founded 3 years and focused on development of nanocellulose technology.

Website

www.innotechmaterials.com

Where are you / your team located?

Innotech Materials is located in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.

How does this Idea redesign unrecyclable small format plastic items that often end up as waste?

Cellulose is a biodegradable material and thus we anticipate the hydrophobic cellulose nanomaterial is non-hazardous wastes to the environment.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

Ideally it will apply to most cases. For liquid packaging of Case 1, it needs a long term study.

In what geographical context or area does your Idea plan to operate / solve?

Around the world.

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

The manufacturing process of nanocellulose is energy-efficient and cost-effective, does not produce toxic by-products, and use water as a green solvent. It is ready to scale up for manufacturing. Our goal is to produce bioplastics using an injection molding process.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Prototyping: You have conducted some small tests or experiments with prospective users and will continue developing idea through these tests.
  • Piloting: You have started to implement your solution as a whole with a first set of real users. You may have started to develop a business model for your idea, including identifying key customer segments, relevant partnerships, go-to-market strategy, and draft financials.

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea and working with the Think Beyond Plastics Accelerator Program will help to accelerate your solution.

Innnotech Materials is a startup company and has developed an innovative technology of producing cellulose nanomaterials. While exploring its application, the Accelerator program would provide us financial support as well as working with packaging experts to learn about advanced packaging technologies. Cellulose is the most abundant renewable feedstock in nature. Our goal is going into plastic business with cellulose nanomaterials.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

Innotech Materials has developed catalytic processes of producing nanocellulose and focused its modification to enhance thermal properties and hydrophobicity.

Tell us about your work experience

I worked for chemical companies over 10 years and founded Innotech Materials.

Please describe your legal and organizational structure

LLC

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