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Joint project results in new take on lyocell

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Birla Cellulose and Nanollose have requested a patent for the tree-free fiber made from bacterial cellulose

Mumbai, India – Birla Cellulose and Australia-based Nanollose Ltd. are looking to bring to market a patented nullarbor fiber that is finer than silk and stronger than conventional lyocell.

A joint patent filing between Birla, an arm of Aditya Birla Group, and Nanollose, focuses on a combination of Nanollose’s tree-free cellulose with Birla Cellulose’s closed-loop lyocell production process for an eco-friendly, sustainable tree-free lyocell that uses feedstock from industrial and agricultural organic waste to produce nullarbor lyocell.

“This innovative development is another important step in our continuing journey to make our fibers more sustainable,” said Aspi Patel, chief technology officer for Aditya Birla Group and Birla Cellulose. “This is an exciting development in the area of next-generation alternative feedstock and we are looking forward to scaling up this technology in collaboration with Nanollose.”

Wayne Best, executive chairman of Nanollose, said the nullabor fiber “has exceeded our expectations and we now have a fiber that is not only more eco-friendly but has superior properties over conventional tree-based fibers. We are very much looking forward to commencing the pilot production and presenting textiles from this remarkable fiber to the fashion industry.”

In early 2020, Grasim Industries Ltd., a subsidiary of Aditya Birla Group, signed a collaboration agreement with Nanollose to explore and develop tree-free fibers, including nullarbor and nufolium. The joint patent, titled “High Tenacity Lyocell Fibers from Bacterial Cellulose and Methods of Preparation Thereof,” provides the companies with additional intellectual property and enhances the collaboration between the entities.

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