Leading biomaterials company Nanollose has filed a provisional patent application with IP Australia for a breakthrough technology that produces microbial cellulose from organic food and beverage waste.
The application: The application, titled ‘Method for Dewatering Microbial Cellulose’, uses novel methodology for drying microbial cellulose which dramatically reduces shipping costs—a key breakthrough for the commercial application of the company’s Jelli Grow technology.
- It covers the production process for a readily rehydratable dry formulation of Nanollose’s Jelli Grow soil-less seed raising medium. The technology allows end users to regenerate the medium simply by adding water upon receipt of the dehydrated formulation, which simplifies the shipping, storage and handling process and overcomes a key barrier to commercial uptake.
- The ability to dry and then rehydrate the microbial cellulose represents a major advancement over the company's previous Jelli Grow formulation, and was developed in response to feedback from prospective customers.
- A key attribute of the novel methodology for drying microbial cellulose is that it prevents the hardening of cellulose upon drying.
- The Jelli Grow technology is additional to and separate from the company’s core Nullarbor fibre technology, which continues to progress well in development with major commercial partners.
Commercialisation: Following the filing of the patent, Nanollose can now begin the commercialisation process for its upgraded Jelli Grow soil-less seed germination platform.
- Nanollose will work with its microbial cellulose supply partner, Hainan Guangyu Biotechnology, to produce a pilot batch of the new Jelli Grow formulation.
- The primary aim of the pilot production run will be to optimise the process for commercial-scale manufacture.
- As a by-product of the production process, it will also generate test material for distribution to potential customers for testing under commercial conditions across various horticulture applications.
The company: Nanollose uses an eco-friendly fermentation process to grow fibres that could become a sustainable alternative to conventional plant-derived cellulose fibres.
- The company’s process, which uses streams from various large-scale industries, including food and agriculture, has the ability to produce ‘tree-free’ cellulose.
- Cellulose is the hidden polymer building block most consumers know nothing about, but forms a huge part of items used in their everyday life such as clothing, paper and hygiene products.
WHAT THEY SAID:
We are delighted with the outcome of this R&D project, which marks a major breakthrough with respect to the commercial application of Jelli Grow. In addition to a greatly improved product, it has delivered a valuable methodology for drying microbial cellulose and preventing hornification, which has many other potential applications. This is a significant development for the business and solves a key pain point for the scaled rollout of microbial cellulose manufacturing operations for a number of applications. In that context, the patent application marks an important step for the business to enhance our intellectual property portfolio. We’re excited to work with Hainan Guangyu Biotechnology to commercialise the technology and look forward to providing more market updates as it unfolds.
— Wayne Best