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Cost Efficient Cellulose Nanofiber Filter

Technology Overview

This innovation is a ground-breaking filter paper composed of 100% cellulose and capable of size-exclusion removal of all types of viruses, including the worst-case small size viruses, i.e. parvoviruses, from water with log10 removal factor > 5, i.e. > 99.999%. The innovative filter design consists of a unique stratified architecture of the filter paper consisting of hundreds of thin, stacked sheets. Unlike advanced polymeric ultra- and nano filters, which are produced by complicated processing, this innovation is produced by a simple and common manufacturing method of hot-pressing of wet laid cellulose nanofibers. The combination of abundant and sustainable natural polymer with simple up-scalable manufacturing processing constitutes a strong value proposition as a cost-efficient advanced filtering medium can be realized featured with superior technical performance. The filter has many applications including drinking water filtration and sterile filtration in manufacturing of therapeutic proteins. The technology provider is seeking for industrial collaborators to develop the technology for specific applications and bring the technology to market.  

Technology Features & Specifications

The filter consists of a non-woven wet laid filter paper, made from 100% cellulose.

  • Cellulose is inexpensive, abundant, intrinsically hydrophilic, non-toxic, and inert. The highly crystalline cellulose from algae described here is furthermore very robust and can withstand a wide range of pH values (2–11), mild oxidants (including chlorine), and sterilization by autoclavation.
  • Filter has high selectivity for viruses with up to log 5 removal while achieving flux rates of up to 350 lmh/bar.
  • Able to filter both large and small size viruses such as parvoviruses.
  • The manufacturing process is straightforward and easy to scale.
  • The feed material is cheap and renewable.
  • Pore sizes are adjustable and typically between 14-2 nm.
  • Good mechanical integrity over a broad range of pressures.

Potential Applications

Cellulose nanofibers exhibit several unique characteristics, including high porosity, high mechanical strength, low thermal expansion, light weight and optical transparency. The cellulose nanofiber membrane would be suitable for applications such as separators for lithium ion batteries, membranes for supercapacitors, functional filters, and materials for immobilization of enzymes and vitamins.

Market Trends and Opportunities

Nanofiber products for the mechanical/chemical/environmental sector are forecast to remain the largest segment in 2020, with global revenues of nearly $1.1 billion, corresponding to a 53.5% share of the total market. This segment is projected to grow at a 32.8% CAGR. Filtration media for water treatment and air purification will continue to represent the main driver for market growth. 

Customer Benefits

  • Low cost feed and easy manufacturing
  • High selectivity for viruses
  • Good flux rate while maintaining filter integrity and selectivity
  • Environmentally friendly product which is safe for use in food or pharmaceuticals processing

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