Nanollose Ltd (ASX:NC6) has taken an important step towards developing commercial scale fibre production by executing an agreement with PT Supra Natami Utama (PT SNU), one of Indonesia’s largest producers of coconut food products.
The agreement gives Nanollose access to a development facility within PT SNU’s Indonesian growing and harvesting site.
Importantly, this facility will enable Nanollose to implement its latest microbial cellulose fermentation and processing technologies, test various additional waste streams, and generate critical data essential for designing an industrial scale factory in the future.
Nanollose’s process uses waste streams from various large-scale industries like sugar, wine and food to produce tree-free microbial cellulose.
The company’s eco-friendly fermentation process to grow fibres has the potential to become a sustainable alternative to conventional plant-derived cellulose fibres.
While the primary purpose of the new agreement is process development, Nanollose’s microbial cellulose production is expected to increase to around 1 tonne per month by mid-2019, increasing to 5 tonnes per month by the end of 2019.
This will enable Nanollose to transform increased quantities of its microbial cellulose to NullarborTM fibre to be provided to selected clothing brands to commence its introduction into their collections and product offerings.
Nanollose managing director Alfie Germano said: “This is a great step forward for the company to meaningfully commence the scaling and commercial path of the primary part of the Nanollose chain, which in turn aids potential collaborations with super users.”
Waste streams from a range of industries
To ensure that the company is able to scale to industrial stage production, Nanollose will use the Indonesian facility to investigate the viability of other waste streams from a range of food and beverage industries, to evaluate additional methods that could increase the yield, efficiency and scalability of microbial cellulose production.
Research into the optimisation of microbial cellulose processing, purification and drying at pilot scale will also be undertaken at the facility.
Determining the most efficient methods of converting waste into microbial cellulose, along with the cost and quality, will generate essential data for designing and developing commercial production facilities in the future.