BIOCELSOL Summary by zhangsshaohui123


									BIOCELSOL         NMP2-CT-2003-505567                                                                2nd Periodic Activity Report

Publishable executive summary

Cellulose structure is known to be complex, which is the main reason for modifying it chemically prior to
further processing for high-value products. At the end of 1980’s the group of Polish and Finnish scientists
made a break-through when discovering the powerful effect of enzymes in modifying the cellulose. A
dissolving grade pulp became directly alkali soluble after enzymatic treatment. The Biocelsol project is
based on this innovation aiming to develop a novel biotechnology-based process for converting cellulose into
high-valued re-shaped products. Toxic and hazardous carbon disulphide (CS2) used in the viscose process is
replaced by safe and biodegradable enzymes.

Structure of the project follows the process flowchart containing own workpackages for raw material studies,
dissolution studies, fibres, films and casings, and sponges and beads (Figure 1). The feasibility studies and
demonstrations are also included, as well as the innovation related issues. The project covers all-inclusively
the process from pulp factory to the customer.

                                            WP 1. RAW
                                                                        WP 2. SOLUTIONS
                                        • pulp production             • dissolution technique
                                        • pretreatments               • solution properties
                  WP8.                  • enzymatic                   • Biocelsol / viscose
                  Management              treatments                    blends
                                        • analyses                    • scaling up

                              WP 3. FIBRES                  WP 4. FILMS             WP 5. SPONGES
                                                                                          & BEADS
                           • strong fibres              • films and casings
                           • nonwoven and                 from Biocelsol and
                             filament fibres                                             • sponges
                                                          blended solutions              • beads
                           • functional fibres          • scaling up
                           • scaling up                 • packages
                           • nonwovens
                           • fabrics

Figure 1.            Structure of Biocelsol project.

During the two project years’ project time the partners have progressed remarkably in each workpackage and
the first end-products from enzyme-treated pulp are successfully produced.

Work performed and results achieved

The work carried out in Raw materials workpackage focused on developing enzymatic treatments, preparing
enzymatically pre-treated cellulose samples for characterisation and for the needs of other WPs. Knowledge
of the factors affecting enzymatic treatments was obtained. The effects of combining enzymatic treatments
with chemical or mechanical treatments were studied.

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BIOCELSOL         NMP2-CT-2003-505567                                                      2nd Periodic Activity Report

The dissolution process for enzyme-treated pulp and the preparation of Biocelsol/viscose blends were further
developed and optimised in the Solutions workpackage. Suitability of obtained solutions for fibres, films and
casings production was studied. The dissolution method elaborated in the first project year was slightly
modified during the reporting period. The effect of parameters such as cellulose content, NaOH content in
solvent, total NaOH content in solution, zinc oxide and urea contents as well as temperature and time of
dissolving on solution properties were determined. Biocelsol solutions were evaluated by viscosity,
filterability (Kw), insoluble particles, as well as polymer and NaOH contents. Reproducibility of solution
preparation regarding the properties and stability of Biocelsol spinning solutions were carried out using
selected enzyme-treated pulps. The parameters for obtaining the best solutions were optimised in lab scale
and then transferred to high-lab scale. Totally over 50 Biocelsol solutions were prepared during the second
project year, of which 18 in high-lab scale.

The Biocelsol/viscose solutions were prepared by blending the selected Biocelsol solutions with industrially
produced viscose in wide composition ratios. The properties of blended solutions were evaluated by
rheological measurements including the effect of Biocelsol solution content on the viscosity and power law
exponent of the blends. Crystallinity and size of crystallites of insoluble particles isolated from Biocelsol and
Biocelsol/viscose blends were analysed by WAXS and SEM. The knowledge gathered will be exploited in
further studies focusing on cellulose solutions with higher polymer content.

The first group of re-shaped products from alkaline cellulose solution includes different kind of fibres, the
manufacturing processes and further applications of which are studied in Fibres workpackage. Due to
extensive optimisation of wet spinning technique the tenacity of fibres increased by 63% from the starting
point. Additionally, the stability of filament spinning process improved significantly enabling longer
spinning periods. These enhancements improved the processability of obtained fibres, thus the first-ever
knitted and woven fabrics and hydroentangled non-wovens were prepared from the Biocelsol fibres. As the
enzymatic treatment does not change the appearance of pulp and no other chemicals than sodium hydroxide,
sulphuric acid and zinc oxide are involved, the fibres do not need any bleaching treatment, but have the same
brightness as the starting pulp. Staple fibres, hydroentangled non-woven sheet, multifilament yarn and
woven fabrics made of either twisted multifilament yarn or sheath/core-spun yarn are presented in Figures 2

      a)                                                     b)

     c)                                                    d)

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BIOCELSOL         NMP2-CT-2003-505567                                                       2nd Periodic Activity Report


Figure 2.     a) Biocelsol staple fibres, b) hydroentangled non-woven sheet from Biocelsol staple fibres
made by Suominen Nonwovens Ltd, c) Biocelsol multifilament yarn, d) woven fabric from twisted
Biocelsol multifilament yarn, e) woven fabric from sheath/core spun Biocelsol multifilament yarn.

The second group of re-shaped products from alkaline cellulose solution includes different kind of films and
coatings, which manufacturing processes and further applications are studied in Films and Casing
workpackage. Optimisation of film forming from Biocelsol solutions was continued by studying the effect of
cellulose content in solution, constitution of coagulation bath, and type of finishing agents on the mechanical
properties of films. The parameters optimised in lab-scale were successfully applied in high-lab scale.

Reproducibility of the film forming process, and the effect of solution storage time prior to process on the
mechanical properties of films was evaluated. Films were also prepared from Biocelsol/chitosan and
Biocelsol/viscose blend solutions.

Samples were characterised by mechanical properties, functionality, swelling in water, light transmission,
crystallinity, and size of crystallites, internal surface area and surface structure. The results obtained will be
exploited in further studies on up scaling of film and casings forming. Transparent and strong films were
obtained from high-lab scale trials. Figure 3.

Figure 3.            Transparent Biocelsol film (placed on a paper sheet).

The third group of re-shaped products from alkaline cellulose solution includes products for medical and
clinical applications, which manufacturing processes and further applications are studied in Beads and
Sponges workpackage. A device for preparing beads from viscose solution, and the parameters for tailoring
bead properties such as size, shape, surface morphology and porosity were developed. Methods for
investigating rheological properties of cellulose solutions, and drug release of tailored beads were also
studied. Beads from Biocelsol solutions using optimized conditions from viscose solution were prepared.
The beads produced from viscose were characterised by surface structure (SEM), and crystallinity and
crystallite sizes (WAXS). SEM results proved that beads have various surface morphology, porosity and two
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BIOCELSOL         NMP2-CT-2003-505567                                                    2nd Periodic Activity Report

types of regular cross-sections that are continuous solid and hollow. The WAXS results showed that beads
had a cellulose II type with much lower crystallinity than dissolving pulp. Sponges production from
Biocelsol solution using the state-of-the-art method available for viscose did not work, thus a new procedure
needs to be developed for utilising Biocelsol solution for sponges. Biocelsol solution was applied also in
electro spraying trials to obtain cellulosic beads.

Part of the project work was to study the legal framework within the European Union for industrial viscose
process plants in comparison to the environmentally friendly Biocelsol process. Carbon disulfide and zinc
salts used in the viscose process have dangerous properties and are accordingly listed in the European legal
framework of IPPC directive (96/61/EC) and the related BAT for polymers. The recently approved European
legislation for Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) defines hazardous
chemicals as well. The use of carbon disulphide in the present viscose process is likely to face with legal
restrictions in terms of source emission reduction and possibly source elimination.

Expected end results, intentions for use and impacts

The results achieved during the two project years are very promising regarding the applicability of enzyme-
treated pulp into various end-products with a significantly reduced environmental impact as compared to the
traditional viscose process.

It is possible to introduce Biocelsol fibres into various nonwoven fabrics for example for wiping, hygiene
and medical applications after the fibres are proven to be economical and there exists a feasible industrial
manufacturing process of the fibres.

Plan for using and disseminating the knowledge

The consortium has disseminated information on the project in various ways through different channels. A
public WWW site includes updated information on the objectives and tasks of the project. The project, its
progress and results have been presented in several conferences, university courses and scientific journals in
the fields of cellulose and fibre chemistry and technology. The project has also been introduced to experts in
environmental technology and management. Regarding exploitable knowledge in general, various aspects
concerning the development of processes and products, other exploitable knowledge, their commercial use
and IPR issues are under consideration at the partners´ organisations. The IPR protection measures are
expected to take place mainly in the end of the project.


The Biocelsol consortium consists of eight research organisations and universities and eight industrial
participants. Contractors are given in Table 1.

Table 1.             List of Biocelsol participants.

 Co-ordinator:                                                     Finland
 Sirkku Hoikkala
 Tamlink Innovation-Research-
 Development Ltd
 Scientific co-ordinator:                                       Finland
 Marianna Vehviläinen
 Tampere University of Technology
 IFP Research AB                                                       Sweden

 Institute of Chemical Fibres                                    Poland

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BIOCELSOL         NMP2-CT-2003-505567                                                   2nd Periodic Activity Report

 VTT Technical Research                                               Finland
 Centre of Finland

 Åbo Akademi University                                   Finland

 University of Potsdam                                        Germany

 Slovak University of Technology                                    Slovakia

 University of Bielsko Biala                                  Poland

 Domsjö Fabriker Ab                                              Sweden

 Vivoxid Ltd                                                     Finland

 Oy Visko Ab                                                       Finland

 Gumitex Poli-Farm Ltd                                            Poland

 Suominen Nonwovens Ltd                                          Finland

 Spolsin, spol. s r.o.                                            Czech Republic

 Ahlstrom Research and Services                                 France

Biocelsol-project is partly financed by the Sixth Framework Programme of European Commission; more
information is available at

The text reflects only the authors’ views and the Community is not liable for any use that may be made of the
information contained therein.

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