Nanocellulose [micro/nano fibrillated cellulose (MFC/NFC)] is a material made up of nano-sized cellulose fibrils with a high length to width (aspect) ratio. The typical dimensions range from 5-20 nm to severe micrometers. It is pseudo-plastic in nature and presents properties of the gel and viscous liquid at normal conditions, but when agitated, become less viscous and can flow as well. This property is known as thixotropy. Owing to this property, nanocellulose is utilized in the wide number of applications.
The market for nanocellulose is segmented on the basis of applications, such as petroleum and oil industry, construction, paper and pulp, biomedical applications, coatings and films, rheological modification applications, aerogels and composites. In addition, the market is segmented on the basis of manufacturing technology, such as nanocellulose produced by acid hydrolysis, high-pressure homogenization or Brown’s mass manufacturing method. Further, the market is segmented on the basis of geographies, such as North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World (RoW). The North American market is the most lucrative market owing to extensive R&D. However, the European and Asia-Pacific regions are considered as the most promising markets in the upcoming future.
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The growth of the nanocellulose market is driven by factors, such as, extensive R&D activities on the global level, technological advancements in the manufacturing processes and price rise and scarcity of the petroleum and synthetic chemical materials. According to Energy Information Association’s report, in 2009, the global consumption of petrochemical products was around 85 million barrels per day, which increased to 87.1 million barrels in 2010. Hence, a need of a substitute for petrochemical products is expected to drive the global market of nanocellulose. However, a high cost of R&D and lack of technological advancements in certain regions of the world is expected to hinder the growth of the market.
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The key players operating in the market includes Cellcom Ltd., BioVision Technologies, Inc., Daicel Chemical Ltd., J. Rettenmaier & Sohne GmbH and Jenpolymers Ltd. amongst others.
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