Global Cellulose Nanofiber (CNF) Market: Key Research Findings 2022
Global Cellulose Nanofiber (CNF) Market in 2022 Projected to Produce 80tons to Attain Shipment Value of 7,200 Million Yen
Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) has conducted a survey on the global cellulose nanofiber (CNF) market for 2022 and has found out the market trends, the trends of market players, and future perspectives.
The global production volume of CNF in 2022 including sampling supplies (which covers micron- and nano-sized microfibril cellulose and chemically modified pulp by the “Kyoto process”) is projected to reach 80tons, 140.4% of the previous year. By shipment value, it is expected to attain 7,200 million yen, 134.6% of the preceding year.
While CNF manufacturers gained momentum in the application development from the second half of 2021 onto 2022, production volume has been growing compared to previous years. Use of CNFs as functional additives for commercial products has been growing, particularly in areas as cosmetics, foods, and painting materials. As makers increasingly provide sampling supplies that are prototyped under conditions similar to actual production, and with six years of experience since the first commercial use of CNF, user companies (demanders) have tried using CNFs and acknowledged its advantages, such as dispersion stability and thixotropy, and therefore the use cases of CNFs in regular production are expanding.
However, although the combined production capacity of facilities owned by domestic CNF manufacturers exceeds 1,000 tons/year, the current utilization rate has not even reached 10%. To boost CNF production volume and raise utilization rate, manufacturers are required to develop and present CNFs that meets user companies’ needs in terms of price, performance, and usability. Manufacturers are expected to introduce a broad range of applications to move on to mass production.
Progress in R&D to Improve Impact Resistance of CNF-reinforced Material for Automotive Components
CNF for constructional material of automotives and building materials are seen as the most promising application, as large quantities of CNFs are used for such materials. Meanwhile, to change from conventional material to resin, having strong impact resistance is a prerequisite from safety perspective, especially for automotives.
However, while CNF-reinforced composite resins are better in flexural modulus and bending strength compared to composite resins without CNF, it has an issue of reduced impact resistance. CNF manufacturers and CNF composite resin manufacturers are working to improve impact resistance for use in structural materials for automobiles, the main focus of their business.
In addition to the features like light weight, high stiffness, and low thermal expansion coefficient, CNF's unique property of forming a network of nano-sized fibers provide performances that are not attainable by other materials. By utilizing these features, performance and usability of new products an be improved to the level that brings surprises to users.
Commercialization of new materials such as CNF depends on how to put through “surprising” promotions that go beyond users’ imaginations without being constrained by conventional frameworks, in addition to novel performance and added-value suggestions that outperform the existing competitive materials. In order for CNF makers to successfully expand demand and to generate a new market, proposals with "excitement" that exceeds the users’ and the market’s expectations are necessary.
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