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The global nanocellulose market size was USD 291.53 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 1,053.09 million by 2027, exhibiting an exhilarating CAGR of 19.9% during the forecast period.
Nanocellulose is a cellulose derivative obtained from wood pulp. The material is isolated from wood by using mechanical methods, which apply high shear forces. For instance, it is prepared under high-pressure homogenizers, ultrasonic homogenizers, grinders, or microfluidizers. These nanomaterials are extremely lightweight, super-strong, and electrically conductive, which makes them an excellent product for application in composites. A nanocomposite with a nanocellulose additive has the strength to stop a bullet, thus making it useful for manufacturing bullet-proof products. Also, its low density, high aspect ratio, and hardness make it an excellent additive in cement. According to the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI), the increasing number of patent applications and research papers reflect the high interest of people in this type of nanomaterial.
Disruption in Wood Sourcing due to Spread of COVID-19 to Restrain Growth
The COVID-19 outbreak has been a disruptive factor in the growth of this industry. Several nations have experienced a sharp drop in the demand for oil & gas due to lockdown and travel restrictions. Also, restrictions in construction activities have reduced the demand for cement and other composite materials. Therefore, various suppliers have halted or decreased their production to reduce the costs of inventory. However, the increasing demand observed from the textiles & nonwoven segment owing to the growing utilization of products, such as masks and sanitation tissues, has increased the demand from other application segments.
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Increasing R&D Activities for Augmentation of Characteristics of Existing Nanocellulose Products is a Vital Trend
The pursuit of new technologies and the augmentation of properties of the existing products are the key factors trending in several research groups. A significant application of these materials in the upcoming years is expected from the expanding food & beverage sector on the backdrop of increasing health issues. Thus, companies operating in the market are studying the development of cellulose nanomaterials, which would enhance the health benefits of these functional food products. On the other hand, companies operating in cosmetics manufacturing are making significant investments for the development of natural products that can replace the traditional chemical-based products and thus are increasingly undertaking the usage of Microfibrillated Cellulose (MFC).
Increasing Concerns Regarding Sustainability of Packaging Industry to Drive Demand
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, containers and packaging comprise about 28.1% of the total municipal solid waste generated in the U.S. It alone accounts for 82.2 million tons of solid waste, the majority of which either enters into landfills or ends up in water bodies. Many packaging products are manufactured using plastics, paper & boards, or metals and are neither recyclable nor degradable. In order to improve the sustainability of the packaging industry, the concept of ‘active packaging’ techniques, which integrate nanoparticles into polymers, has been gaining traction. This innovation also enhances the properties of packaging products and caters to the recycling problem. These new composite packaging materials have observed a rapid growth in the demand from the food industry owing to their excellent microbial contamination resistance. This is set to drive the demand for cellulosic nanomaterials.
Utilization of Nanocellulose for Enhancement of Physicochemical Features of Textiles and Nonwovens Expanding Demand
Cellulose nanofibrils are considered as one of the best futuristic materials for the manufacturing of textile products owing to their physicochemical features. In addition to being renewable and naturally abundant, these nanomaterials have excellent stiffness, high strength, chemical inertness, low coefficient of thermal expansion, and the ability to modify their surface chemistry. Owing to all these properties, textiles and nonwovens manufacturers are combining their traditional textiles with these nanofibrils, providing a thrust to the nanocellulose market growth.
High Cost of Production May Hamper Market Growth
Even though cellulose is abundantly available in nature, the production of these nanomaterials requires large technical knowledge and machinery, which increases the production cost. Furthermore, many alternative materials fulfill the function played by these materials at a considerably lower cost. For instance, metal additives alter the properties of plastic composites similar to the addition of nanocellulose, albeit at a fraction of cost. Moreover, the unregulated cutting of wood to meet the growing demand could accelerate global forest loss. Hence, regulated monoculture is required to have a consistent supply, thereby increasing the overall cost of manufacturing. Therefore, the high production cost confines the growth prospects of the market.
Cellulose Nanofibrils Segment to Gain High Share Backed by Expanding Application Potential
On the basis of type, this market is segmented into microfibrillated cellulose (MFC), cellulose nanofibrils (CNF), cellulose nanocrystals (CNC), bacterial cellulose (BC), and others. Cellulose nanofibrils are not only used in manufacturing textiles and filter materials, but researchers are also studying the development of CNF-based plastic materials. For instance, Daio paper developed a CNF-sheet material, which comprises about 80% w/w nanofibers, having performance comparable to commodity plastic. Recent breakthroughs have reported the development of plastic composites containing CNF, increasing their tensile strength and flexural modulus. For instance, the NEDO project developed a continuous process for the production of hydrophobic, modified CNF, which are extremely durable and find application in the manufacturing of plastic resins for automotive applications. Owing to these factors, the CNF segment is gaining key market share at a very swift rate in the global market.
On the other hand, microfibrillated cellulose is used in enormous quantities for the manufacturing of nanocomposites, bio-based medical products, wood adhesives, super-capacitors, batteries, continuous fibers for textiles, functional food coatings, cement mixture, and antimicrobial films for paper products. Owing to such a broad range of applications, the MFC segment would hold the largest share in the global market.
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Paper & Packaging to be the Fastest-growing Segment
Based on the application, the market is segmented into cement & composites, textiles & nonwovens, paper & packaging, food products, cosmetics & toiletries, filter materials, and others. Out of these applications, the paper and packaging segment is projected to be the fastest-growing on account of the increasing utilization of cellulose nanocrystals in both paper and plastic-based packaging. This trend is confirmed by organizations, such as the International Organization Association (ISO), TAPPI, and Canadian Standards Association (CSA), which introduced standards on CNCs that are being developed. As nanocellulose improves the strength of plastics and paper packaging products, it is expected to gain tremendous traction in the global market during the forecast period.
On the other hand, cellulose nanomaterials are utilized in the manufacturing of cement and other composites with excellent physicochemical properties such as high strength, low density, low coefficient of thermal expansion, and the ability to modify their surface chemistry. Thus, the cement & composites segment is projected to hold a significant share in the global market.
Europe Nanocellulose Market Size, 2019 (USD Million)
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The nanocellulose market size in Europe stood at USD 108.77 million in 2019. The region has proved to be a manufacturing hub for products such as automobiles, textiles, and cosmetics. Furthermore, manufacturers are concentrated in the region owing to the abundance availability of wood in the Eastern Europe region and regulations on single-use plastic packaging. Therefore, Europe is estimated to hold the largest share in the global market.
On the other hand, the high concentration of end-use industries, such as food, cement, textiles, and paper in developing nations of China, South Korea, and India have resulted in the swift expansion of the demand for cellulose nanomaterials in the Asia Pacific region. In North America, the increasing demand for nanofibrillated cellulose nanomaterials is gaining traction for the manufacturing of high strength cement and construction composites. Moreover, people in the region are highly concerned about their health and hence the utilization of MFC and CNF for the manufacturing of functional food products has gained tremendous traction in the region.
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These products are still in the introductory stage in the rest of the world and hence are expected to grow at a significant rate during the study period, especially with the improving standard of living in the South American countries and the expanding usage of nanocellulose in the production of chemicals and oil & gas in the Middle East.
Leading Companies to Focus on Partnerships & Capacity Expansion to Garner Market Share
Supply partnerships and expansions are important strategies used by leading companies to maintain their positions in the market. Celluforce is one of the most prominent companies operating in the market. The company is involved in the commercial production of cellulose nanocrystals that find application in the production of oil & gas, adhesives, paper, nonwovens, cement, plastics, composites, and paints & coatings. The company operates the world’s largest CNC plant and has a capacity of manufacturing 300 tons per annum. Another prominent company present in the market is Fiberlean Technologies. It is one of the leading global producers of Microfibrillated Cellulose (MFC). The company has an established full-blown commercial supply of MFC and is further expanding its global reach using a business model of onsite production.
An Infographic Representation of Nanocellulose Market
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The global nanocellulose market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies, types, and applications. Also, this market intelligence offers insights into market trends and highlights vital industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses various factors that have contributed to the market growth over recent years.
Volume (Tons); Value (USD Million)
By Type, Application and By Geography
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 291.53 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 1,053.09 million by 2027.
In 2019, the market value stood at USD 291.53 million.
Registering a significant CAGR of 19.9%, the market will exhibit striking growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).
The cement & composites application is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.
Increasing concerns regarding the sustainability in the packaging industry is set to be the key factor driving the market.
Fiberlean Technologies, Celluforce, Nippon Paper Group, and Borregard are the leading players in this market.
Europe held the highest share in the global market in 2019.
The increasing demand for functional food products and composites for manufacturing automotive and construction goods is anticipated to boost market adoption.
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