Yokogawa Bio Frontier Commences Sales of S-CNF, a High-Performance Nanocellulose Material

Tokyo, Japan - June 15, 2021

Yokogawa Bio Frontier Inc., a subsidiary of Yokogawa Electric Corporation, announces that it has commenced sales of 100% plant-derived sulfated cellulose nanofiber (S-CNF™). The company is initially providing samples to prospective customers, and will subsequently scale up production in preparation for the commercial sale of this highly versatile plant-derived S-CNF material to customers mainly in the chemical and materials industries.

S-CNF in powder form
S-CNF in powder form

Cellulose nanofiber is a fibrous biomass material that is derived from cellulose, an important structural component of plants. It is produced by extracting the cellulose from materials such as wood pulp and defibrating it to form very fine nanosized fibers. Companies in the materials industry have shown a great interest in cellulose nanofiber as it is a strong and lightweight material that is resistant to deformation when exposed to heat and provides a highly effective barrier against oxygen and other gases, and its production and disposal have a low environmental impact.

In addition to having the same characteristics as standard cellulose nanofiber, S-CNF in a gel form can be dried to produce a powdered substance that has approximately 1/100th the volume and weight of the gel. This powder costs significantly less to transport and store, and its physical properties can be restored by blending it with water. By adjusting the blending ratio, the physical properties of the cellulose nanofiber can be altered to suit specific applications. Furthermore, the process employed by Yokogawa Bio Frontier to break down fibers and produce S-CNF consumes less energy than other cellulose nanofiber production processes, and this is expected to make a significant contribution in reducing production costs.

Moving forward, Yokogawa Bio Frontier will work toward the commercial production of S-CNF and develop this business through the sale of this product and the licensing of its commercial production process principally to companies in the chemical and materials industries. The company will also look into joint research and development activities with customers using S-CNF. Yokogawa Bio Frontier will strive to promote the widespread use of plant-derived materials that will lessen our dependence on fossil resources and contribute to the realization of a carbon-neutral society.

Carbon-recycling through S-CNF
Carbon-recycling through S-CNF

S-CNF will be exhibited at the Kansai Sustainable Material Expo, which is to be held June 23-25 at the Intex Osaka exhibition center.

Major target markets for S-CNF

  • Chemicals, petrochemicals, automobiles, construction materials, ceramics, textiles, and other material industries
  • Food products, pharmaceuticals, and paper processing

S-CNF Applications

  • Filler for plastic/rubber materials, etc.
  • Film and bottle packaging
  • Functional additives for cosmetic products and paints
  • Thickeners, emulsifiers


About Yokogawa Bio Frontier

Yokogawa Bio Frontier was established in January 2021 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yokogawa Electric Corporation. It is engaged in the manufacturing and sale of plant-derived biomass materials, as well as related licensing and consulting activities. The company is also developing a biomass business that handles nanocellulose and lignin (monomer) products and a smart cell business that centers on the use of microalgae.

The names of corporations, organizations, products, services and logos herein are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Yokogawa Electric Corporation or their respective holders.