Nanollose Limited (ASX: NC6) is an ASX listed research and development company that is aiming to replace conventional plant-derived cellulose fibres by fibres, which are grown by low cost and eco-friendly fermentation process. Cellulose is the hidden polymer, which forms a huge part of items used in everybody’s daily life, such as clothing, paper and hygiene products. The company’s process uses streams from various large-scale industries like food and beverages that have the ability to produce ‘Plant-Free’ Cellulose.
On 9th April 2019, the company announced its successful completion of pilot scale production of tree-free fibre, Nullarbor™, which resulted in significant improvements in efficiency and processability. In doing so, it has also produced a fibre for nonwoven applications.
Nullarbor is a plant free fibre, which is obtained from sustainably grown and high-yield microbial cellulose and is produced within 10 to 15 days. This also reflects the scalability of fibre production.
The production was commenced to access the alternative styles of equipment, which would help in increasing the commercial scale production of the Nullabor fibre. This pilot test also enabled the company to produce a sample of Nullarbor fibre, which is specifically engineered for the production of nonwoven textiles. This specific Nullarbor fibre included a whitening agent, a crimped shape and an antistatic coating, which shows the company’s scope of using its existing technologies.
Nonwovens textiles are different from woven textiles and that they are made directly from the fibre without having to produce yarns, which are then made into textiles by knitting or weaving.
The nonwoven textile market is estimated to be approximately US$44 billion, which includes diverse applications of nonwoven textiles such as wipes, filters, single-use surgical gowns, etc. The company’s new fibre sample for nonwoven applications is bound for an industry leader in Europe who has expressed an interest in testing it in various applications and products.
The company’s Executive Chairman, Dr. Wayne Best said they are happy with the results of the pilot production test. The efficiency of the process has improved after the change of equipment, and this first batch of fibre for nonwoven application has opened another potential market for the company’s products.
The first pilot production of Nullarbor fibre was conducted on 23rd March 2018, which was the first time the company was able to produce this world’s first plant-free viscose-rayon fibre. This supply of Nullarbor fibre was manufactured in conjunction with an international R&D provider, which is the company’s Indonesian supply chain partner. After the results, the company was invited to present at the world’s leading sustainable textiles event on 22 May 2018, wherein it launched Nullarbor to the global industry leaders.
On 10th January 2019, the company announced that it has secured a development facility to increase its Microbial Cellulose production.
On the technical front, the stock increased by 1.72% and closed at A$0.059 on ASX at market close on 9th April 2019 compared to the previous closing of A$0.058, which is the 52 week low. In the last six months, the stock has fallen by 42%, and the YTD return also remains at negative 42%.
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