Press ReleasesNippon Paper Industries Plans to Mass-produce CNF for Foods and CosmeticsProduction Facilities Annually Producing 30 Tons of CNF Exclusive for Additives at Gotsu Mill in Shimane

Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd.

Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd. (President: Fumio Manoshiro; hereinafter "Nippon Paper Industries" announces the decision to install CNF mass production facilities for foods and cosmetics at the Chemical Division Gotsu Mill (Gotsu-shi, Shimane). These are CNF production facilities that apply technology to produce Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC), which is sold as a food additive. Nippon Paper Industries is set to invest about 1.1 billion yen on the project and 30 tons will be the initial annual production volume. The facilities will possess the ability to increase its annual production volume up to 100 tons in the future. The construction of the facilities is scheduled to be completed in September 2017.

Nippon Paper Industries has many years of experience in producing functional chemical products using wood components, such as cellulose derivatives, mainly at Gotsu Mill, and selling them domestically and globally. CMC, which is one of these products, is an anionic water-soluble polymer that is obtained from wood cellulose. It is widely used for foods, cosmetics, etc., as a natural additive that possesses excellent thickening, absorptive, and water retaining properties.

As a new development for CNF, Nippon Paper Industries established the production method of obtaining carboxymethylated CNF (CM-CNF) from chemically treated wood pulp using CMC production technology. This CM-CNF has a fiber width of several nm to several tens of nm, and it is known as microfibrillated cellulose (MFC). It is a different fiber from the CNFalready produced by us using TEMPO catalytic oxidation method (fiber width of 3 nm) (Note 1). CM-CNF demonstrates features that are not observed in conventional additives (thickeners), including CMC; for example, small change in viscosity due to temperature changes, no spinnability (no stickiness), and thixotropy (Note 2). Nippon Paper Industries also established a technology to solidify water-dispersed CNF (moisture contents of 10% maximum), that achieves the prevention of CNF decomposition and the reduction of transportation costs.

As a comprehensive biomass company shaping the future with trees, Nippon Paper Industries is working to expand its business domain. The Group regards CNF as a new material that will be core to these efforts and will continue to focus on further technological developments, such as the construction of mass production facilities for TEMPO oxidation CNF at Ishinomaki Mill (Ishinomaki-shi, Miyagi). The one to be constructed at Gotsu Mill are the second example of its nanocellulose mass production facilities. By achieving the mass production of CM-CNF for foods and cosmetics, Nippon Paper Industries will promote broad applications of CNF for familiar products and services toenrich the lives of people.

Note 1: TEMPO catalytic oxidation method
A chemical denaturation method for cellulose by TEMPO catalysis, developed by Professor Akira Isogai et al. of the Department of Biomaterial Sciences, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences at The University of Tokyo. Using this method pulp is easily defibrated, making it possible to obtain nanofibers of a uniform width.

Note 2: Thixotropy
Thixotropy is the property exhibited by certain gels of becoming fluid when stirred or shaken and returning to the semisolid state upon standing.