Zeon has developed a proprietary ion-exchange and nanodispersion process for producing aqueous solutions of cellulose nanofibers modified for antimicrobial, deodorizing, and heat dissipation functionalities. The process, depicted in Figure 1, allows metal ion-exchange for functionalization of the fibers, while incorporating a nanofibrillation of the cellulose fibers, which amplifies the effect of the exchanged metal ions per unit mass. This means that a smaller amount of CNFs and metals can be used to produce the same effect as other metal-ion based antimicrobial, deodorizing, and heat dissipation solutions.

Ultra-high Surface Area, Dispersed Cellulose Nanofibers (CNF) for Anti-microbial, Deodorization, and Heat Dissipation Applications
Figure 1: Incorporating both metal ion-exchange and fibrillation, Zeon’s method of producing functionalized, aqueous solutions of TEMPO-oxidized cellulose (TOC) nanofibers increases surface area and thus amplifies the effect of the metal ions and improves dispersion.

 

Zeon has begun to explore the application of these functionalized, well-dispersed, aqueous CNF solutions to (1) non-wovens designed for filtration applications, and (2) sheets/films designed for low-profile, lightweight heat dissipation in electronic devices, and perhaps electronic power modules used in automotive and communications applications. The process accommodates the metal ion-exchange of mono, di, and trivalent metal ions, which expands the range of potential application.

Zeon is incorporating this ion-exchange/nanofibrillation technology into several pre-commercial products directed to filtration and heat sink applications. Zeon is seeking sales and application-specific R&D partners, and is now preparing small evaluation samples for potential customers and development partners.

For more information, please contact Daniel Soltan, dsoltan@yet2.com