Mineral/microfibrillated cellulose composite materials:

Mineral/microfibrillated cellulose composite materials:

Recycled fibres, engineered minerals and new product forms

David Skuse, Tom Larson, Michel Schenker, Mark Windebank and Paymaan Tahamtan

PRESENTED BY:
David Skuse
VP Technology,
FiberLean Technologies Ltd.

 

Contents

  • Introduction
    • Mineral/microfibrillated cellulose composite materials
    • Fibrils and fibres
    • Minerals
    • Mineral/ fibril composites
  • Recycled fibre sources
  • Applications
  • Product forms
  • Conclusions

Introduction:

Mineral/microfibrillated cellulose composite materials

  • MFC: Utility for increased bonding in fibre-based structures, viscosification, re-inforcement……
  • A cost effective grinding-based method for the production of mineral/ MFC composites from minerals and cellulose pulp
    • Cellulose fibres are co-processed with mineral particles. The mineral particles act as micro-grinding media, thus, reducing the energy requirement
    • The process can be accomplished using robust, industrially proven grinding equipment
  • 10 000 dry metric tonnes pa of fibril capacity (40 000 dry metric tonnes of mineral/ MFC composite) installed and operational across three continents. Further capacity under construction
  • FDA FCN for food contact paperboard
  • Processsing and handling of mineral/ MFC composites are dominated by the high viscosity of MFC arising from presence of high surface area hydrophillic fibrils. Typical fibre solids is ~2%

Mineral/microfibrillated cellulose composite materials

Photograph (a) and micrograph (b) of mineral/ MFC composite showing the high viscosity and fibrillar structure

Fibrils and fibres

Structure performance relationships

PropertiesEngineered fibrils

  • Fibril length
  • Fibril width
  • Microgel-like or discrete
  • Surface charge
  • Surface hydrophobicity
  • Colour
  • ……
  • Performance
  • Enhancement of web properties (mechanical, porosity, surface, optical)
  • Viscosification/ rheological property modification
  • Reinforcement
  • Stand-alone objects
  • Barrier
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Re-use
  • ……
  • Applications
  • Paper/ Packaging
  • Building materials
  • Coatings
  • Oil field
  • Food and beverage
  • Non-wovens
  • Composites
  • Electrical/ electronic
  • ……

 

Fibre sources

  • Wood-free v mechanical
  • Kraft v sulphite
  • Long fibre v short fibre
  • Virgin v recycle
  • Tree-based v other biomass
  • ……
     

Minerals

Structure performance relationships

Properties

  • Particle size
  • Particle shape
  • Particle packing
  • Crystal microstructure
  • Colour
  • Reflectance
  • Absorbance
  • Scattering efficiency
  • Refractive index
  • Specific gravity
  • Hardness
  • Chemical composition
  • Surface character
  • ……
  • Performance
  • Opacity
  • Clarity
  • Gloss
  • Density modification
  • Wear / abrasion resistance
  • Barrier
  • Blocking
  • Flame retardant
  • Mechanical reinforcing
  • Chemical delivery/ reaction
  • ……
  • Applications
    Paper/ Packaging
    Building materials
    Coatings/ inks
    Oil field
    Food and beverage
    Non-wovens
    Composites
    Electrical/ electronic
    Abrasives
    Filtration
    Ceramics
    ……

 

Mineral sources

  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Ground marble/ limestone
  • Ground chalk
  • Precipitated
  • Kaolin
  • Hydrous
  • Calcine
  • Halloysite
  • Andalusite
  • Ball Clay
  • Bauxite
  • Bentonite
  • Clinoptilolite
  • Diatomite
  • Dolomite
  • Expandable Graphite
  • Feldspar
  • Fused Alumina
  • Fullerenes
  • Fused Silica
  • Mica
  • Natural Graphite
  • Perlite
  • Specialty Carbon Black
  • Synthetic Graphite
  • Vermiculite
  • Zirconia

 

Mineral/microfibrillated cellulose composite materials: Calcium carbonate - Ground and precipitated forms Mineral/microfibrillated cellulose composite materials: Calcium carbonate - Ground and precipitated forms Mineral/microfibrillated cellulose composite materials: Calcium carbonate - Ground and precipitated forms
Calcium carbonate: Ground and precipitated forms: High level of control over crystal morphs and dimensions Mineral/microfibrillated cellulose composite materials: Calcium carbonate - Ground and precipitated forms

 

Mineral/microfibrillated cellulose composite materials: Kaolin can be engineered for very high shape factor Mineral/microfibrillated cellulose composite materials: Kaolin can be engineered for very high shape factor Kaolin: Can be engineered for very high shape factor
Kaolin: Can be engineered for very high shape factor

Mineral fibril composites

  • There are a multitude of options available to the formulator

Mineral/microfibrillated cellulose composite materials: mineral fibril composites

Recycle fibres

  • Mineral/microfibrillated cellulose composite materials prepared from mixed office waste and OCC
  • Tensile properties at ~ equivalent to/ better than virgin NBSK controls
Miexed office waste feed

Mixed office waste feed

Mineral/microfibrillated cellulose composite materials with recycle pulps

50% OCC/ 50% kaolin mineral/microfibrillated cellulose composite materials

50% OCC/ 50% kaolin mineral/ MFC composite (right) and control with NBSK

Applications

Viscosity modification

Mineral/microfibrillated cellulose composite materials with high shape factor minerals

  • 50% NBSK/ 50% mineral/microfibrillated cellulose composite materials
  • Can control viscosity with choice of mineral shape factor.
  • Low shape factor for high solids application
  • High shape factor for high viscosity

Barrier

Barrier

 

Base Base & MFC layer Base & Coating Base & MFC layer & Coating
Base Base + MFC layer Base + Coating Base + MFC layer + Coating

 

Barrier

Electronics

50% NBSK/ 50% graphite mineral/ MFC composite slurry and sheet 20% NBSK/ 80% mineral/ MFC composite printed electronic substrate

Product forms

  • Slurry (~2% MFC fibre solids)
  • Bottles and barrels, Transitanks, Trucks and ISO tanks, satellite plant
  • Filter cake (~10-15% MFC fibre solids)
  • Buckets, barrels, big bags
  • High solids powder (~37% MFC solids/ 75% total solids), developmental
  • Sacks, bags and bulk

Slurry

  • Slurry (~2% MFC fibre solids)
slurry Bottles
10 liter (2.65 US Gallon) = 200 g (~8 oz) dry MFC
Barrels
220 liter (60 US Gallon) = 4.4 kg (~10 lb) dry MFC
Transitanks
1000 liter (265 US Gallon) = 20 kg (~44 lb) dry MFC
Trucks/ ISO tanks
25 meter3 (6600 US Gallon) = 500 kg (~1100 lb) dry MFCLargest shipments to date
80 Transitanks = 1600 kg (~3500 lb) dry MFC
7 Trucks = 3500 kg (~7700 lb) dry MFC
slurry

Filter cake

  • Filter cake (~10-15% MFC fibre solids)

filter cake

  • 50% OCC/ 50% Kaolin
  • Filter cake
  • Bag weight ~ 1000 kg (~2200 lb) = 150 kg (~330 lb) dry MFC
  • Largest shipments to date
  • 292 bags = ~44 tonnes (~48 short tons) of dry MFC

filter cake

  • 50% NBSK/ 50% GCC

High solids powder

high solids powder

50% NBSK/ 50% GCC, 75% solids

Conclusions

  • Mineral/ MFC composites are produced using a cost-effective, robust process and have proven full-scale availability
  • Mineral/ MFC composites can be produced using a wide range of minerals and pulps. Variations in the selction of pulp and mineral allow the formulator to select in favour of a wide range of properties
  • Recycled pulp streams can be used
  • We believe that mineral/ MFC composites are an important additive for a wide range of applications
  • These mineral/ MFC composite materials have been commercialised as FiberLean® MFC