Here we try to answer the most common questions we receive.
If your curiosity is not satiated, do not hesitate to contact us.
What is the history of this technology?
Cellulotech’s main technology is called chromatogeny. It is a green chemistry process (no solvent involved). It was discovered in 1996 by our Chief Scientist, Daniel Samain. But the chemical grafting of cellulose with fatty acids was discovered more than 100 years ago.
Depending on the substrate Cellulotech’s technology can provide strong hydrophobic properties (lotus-leaf effect or paper's “goretex”) and also oxygen, vapor and grease barriers while preserving all the recyclability and biodegradability properties of the initial substrate.
This technology caught a lot of attention in the past two decades, and despite a few attempts, the issue remained the scalability of the process, which we have solved.
WHAT ARE THE REAGENTS YOU USE?
We use long chain fatty acid chlorides, a reagent already widely used by many industries. Different carbon chain length are available. Fatty acids are grafted on the substrate and the reaction releases a bit of HCl as a gas, which can be trapped and sold to various industries. Typically, just a few mg per square meter are necessary.
IS IT APPROVED FOR FOOD CONTACT?
Some substrates treated are already approved by the FDA and in Europe a BFR XXXVI petition is ongoing. So the short answer is: it depends on the substrate and the jurisdiction.
Chemically speaking, all what is left on the paper after treatment are fatty acid esters, which are components of dieteraty fats! It is completely safe for consumers. So when it is not already approved, it's a matter of paperwork.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
A kilogram of reagent costs usually less than $5. Since one kilogram can typically allows us to treat between 10,000 and 50,000 square meters, the cost per square meter can be as low as $0.0005, which is much lower than any other technology available to give barriers to paper products.
The equipment necessary for the treatment would also cost approximately the same as a coating machine with the same specifications.
Hence, it is very competitive!
CAN IT BE RECYCLED, COMPOSTED? Is it biodegradable?
Yes!. While we haven't tried to recycle, compost or biodegrade all substrates we came in contact with, we have still to find one that can't. We recently passed EU's CEPI 2 recyclability Standard with an outstanding 97% score. Paper treated with this chemistry have also passed other standards such as EN 13430 or EN 13432.
DO YOU USE PFAS?
God no! We want to get rid of this awful thing.
CAN YOU PROVIDE SAMPLES?
Of course! We can also treat your own samples. Please contact us.
DO YOU PRODUCE MATERIAL?
Our main goal is to license the technology to make it available for the largest number of factories and industries. However, we intend produce shortly some material for niche applications outside packaging that we believe are great demonstrators of this technology and will allow us to replace unsustainable materials.