Wood Business

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Resolute, Mercer develop biomaterials

June 23, 2014, Montreal - Resolute Forest Products has launched a new research and development joint venture, Performance BioFilaments Inc. Jointly owned with Mercer International Inc., Performance BioFilaments will work to develop commercial applications for cellulose filaments, a new source of sustainable biomaterial made from wood fibre that can improve the strength and durability of many commercial and consumer products found on the market today.

"Today's launch highlights our ongoing effort to drive innovation in the forest products industry," said Richard Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Resolute will provide funding and expertise to Performance BioFilaments, supporting the venture's research and development capabilities that aim to bring sustainable products to a broad spectrum of industries."

Cellulose filaments are made from wood fibre, one of nature's most abundant materials, and are used to add strength, stability, flexibility and longevity to a variety of materials, including cement, composites and coatings.

"The strength of cellulose filaments can be compared to that of synthetic reinforcement fibres made from non-renewable petroleum inputs," said Gurminder Minhas, Managing Director of Performance BioFilaments. "The difference is that cellulose filaments are entirely renewable, with a very low carbon footprint. We're thrilled to debut this company with the launch of this kind of revolutionary product."

Cellulose filaments are adaptable for use in the aviation, marine, aerospace, electronics, manufacturing and construction sectors, as well as in paint and consumer products. Their unique, ribbon-like composition has the potential to improve the quality of various materials, and the product is considered to have significant cost advantages compared to alternatives.

FPInnovations Inc., one of Canada's leading scientific organizations working in forest products research and development, will produce the material. Performance BioFilaments will have access to all current and future cellulose filament research being advanced at a third-party mill in Trois-Rivières, Quebec - the world's first five-metric-ton-per-day cellulose filament demonstration plant that started up earlier this year.

For more information, please visit www.performancebiofilaments.com.