FiberLean® MFC: High solids product form MFC/ mineral composite materials allow attenuated performance of functional minerals and cellulose microfibrils in a wide range of industrial applications

D. Skuse, S. Ireland
FiberLean Technologies Ltd.,
United States

Keywords: mineral composite materials, cellulose

Summary:

When minerals and cellulose are co-processed in aqueous suspension, the mineral acts as a grinding aid, facilitating the cost- effective production of mineral/ microfibrillated cellulose composite materials. Choice of mineral and cellulose source allows preparation of composites that have utility in a wide range of end-use applications. Application areas explored include paper, packaging, building materials, absorbants, electronic substrates and electronic materials. These mineral/ microfibrillated cellulose composites have been commercialised under the tradename FiberLean®MFC. The production process utilises robust, cost effective industrial milling equipment. There are FiberLean plants on three continents with a combined capacity of 40 000 dry tonnes of composite per annum (comprising 8000 dry tonnes per annum of cellulose fibrils and 32 000 dry tonnes per annum of minerals). The product is available as high solids pellets, intermediate solids press cake or low solids slurry. Here we will; (i) summarise the development of the Fiberlean product family, (ii) highlight the wide range of minerals and fibres that can be used, (iii) describe some of the applications, (iv) discuss product forms, (v) discuss full-scale quality data and (vi) present ideas for future applications