VICTORIA, BC, CANADA, November 20, 2023 - Cellulotech, the Canadian material science startup, has received an award from Packaging Europe in the Pre-Commercialized Renewable Material Sustainability category.
The jury of experts from Packaging Europe announced the award for Cellulotech’s green chemistry process, which promises to open up a new era of sustainable, recyclable, and competitive paper-based packaging and biomaterials.
The ceremony took place at the Sustainable Packaging Summit in Amsterdam, where Cellulotech Co-Founder and CEO Romain Metivet received the Award from Tim Sykes, Brand Director of Packaging Europe, and Luciana Pellegrino, President-elect of the World Packaging Organization.
Recyclable and competitive paper-based solutions
This prestigious award confirms the vast potential offered by Cellulotech’s solution to protect paper-based materials from water and other elements, with a recyclable alternative that not only removes the need to use plastics, waxes, and silicone but does so at a far reduced cost.
While the traditional way to protect paper-based packaging involves coating it with a layer of material, Cellulotech proposes a nanotechnology approach that covalently grafts one-nanometer abundant bio-based molecules around the fibers.
Cellulotech’s solvent-free process uses hundreds of times less material per square meter, preserves the recyclability of paper in the standard stream, and lowers costs and CO2 emissions by as much as 95% when compared to current solutions.
The unique properties offered by this technology, such as the ability to suppress capillarity permanently and develop superhydrophobic but permeable products, also opens the door to a new world of high-value added possibilities for cellulosic materials in sectors such as construction, healthcare, textiles, and water desalination. For example, Cellulotech has demonstrated its technology can be used to develop biodegradable paper-based face masks.
“Cellulose is the most abundant organic compound on earth,’ says CEO, Romain Metivet. “If we are serious about enabling a large-scale material transition across sectors, we have no choice but to work with it. I believe the packaging industry is at the forefront of this movement and many other industries will benefit from the technologies we are developing.”
The Cellulotech story
Cellulotech was co-founded by Romain Metivet and Dr. Daniel Samain in 2020, with its vision to usher in a new era of abundant bio-based materials based on ‘Cellulocene’.
The chemistry behind Cellulotech’s technology was discovered by Dr. Samain, a renowned inventor and organic chemist, on Christmas Eve of 1996. Despite huge interest over the past 27 years, the challenge was always to develop a scalable process for the paper and packaging industry.
With a reaction time of just 0.1s, Cellulotech’s technology is now fast enough to enable large-scale adoption by packaging manufacturers and converters. It is protected by 5 patents, covering the process as well as high-value added applications. It seems that Christmas has finally arrived for Dr. Samain and the Cellulotech team.
Cellulotech is now in advanced talks with several companies to scale up its process and launch industrial pilots in North America and Europe. It is preparing for fundraising early next year.
“Our goal is to compete in the commercialized category within a couple of years,” says Metivet. “We are convinced our technology will reshape the vast paper and packaging industry and change the way we think about biomaterials.”