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Boston, MA, United States

Shatkin J.A.,Vireo Advisors
Environmental Science: Nano | Year: 2015

Cellulose nanomaterials (CNs) derived from wood fibers are renewable materials with wide applicability for use in consumer products as bio-based composite materials and have the potential to replace petroleum-based materials in many existing and novel applications. Because their nanoscale features may impart novel chemical properties and behaviors, it is necessary to address the environmental and safety aspects of CNs to ensure safety in commercial applications, before wide introduction into society. NANO LCRA, a proposed life cycle risk assessment framework, was used for pre-commercial screening of selected applications of CN as a method for systematically identifying and assessing potential risks of CN from occupational, consumer and environmental exposures throughout the product life cycle. The analysis identifies potential exposure scenarios, evaluates toxicity and assesses the adequacy of available data to characterize risk, highlighting data needs and gaps that must be filled to reduce current uncertainty about CN safety. The analysis revealed that occupational inhalation exposure associated with handling CN as a dry powder was the highest priority data gap including the challenge of quantitative measurement for exposure assessment, followed by gaps in knowledge about the toxicity of CN in consumer use products, such as packaging, particularly for food contact. The NANO LCRA findings were then organized into a roadmap for filling key data gaps to allow safety and sustainability assessment that prioritizes data needs according to risk significance to ensure that uncertainty about the CN safety does not interfere with the commercialization of products to market. © The Royal Society of Chemistry. Source

Shatkin J.A.,Vireo Advisors | Ong K.J.,Vireo Advisors | Ede J.D.,Vireo Advisors | Wegner T.H.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Goergen M.,P3Nano
Tappi Journal | Year: 2016

Commercialization of cellulose nanomaterials (CNs) is rapidly advancing, to the benefit of many end-use product sectors, and providing information about the safe manufacturing and handling for CNs is a priority. Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are required for industrially produced materials to communicate information on their potential health, fire, reactivity, and environmental hazards, and to provide recommendations on how to safely work with these materials. Cellulose and cellulose pulp, which have widespread commercial end uses, can create nuisance dusts when dried and are required to have SDS. We therefore expect that nanoscale forms of cellulose will also require SDS. This study identifies the currently available SDS information for CNs and highlights existing gaps in our knowledge. With U.S. and international adoption of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for Hazard Communication, producers are required to report SDS known data and data gaps. Given the novelty of all nanomaterials, it is preferable to fill these gaps in SDS as a demonstration of our commitment to the safe production and use of these materials. To evaluate the availability of SDS information and prepare for commercialization of CNs, we assessed available safety information for CNs to identify available GHS SDS data, data gaps, and what data need to yet be developed to fully classify CNs according to the GHS. Specifically, we report on the available data and gaps regarding the toxicological profile, environmental characteristics, physical and chemical properties, exposure controls, and personal protection for cellulose nanomaterials, to encourage the development of missing data and advance safe commercialization. Source

Cowie J.,Cowie and Company | Bilek E.M.T.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Wegner T.H.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Shatkin J.A.,Vireo Advisors
Tappi Journal | Year: 2014

Nanocellulose has enormous potential to provide an important materials platform in numerous product sectors. This study builds on previous work by the same authors in which likely high-volume, low-volume, and novel applications for cellulosic nanomaterials were identified. In particular, this study creates a transparent methodology and estimates the potential annual tonnage requirements for nanocellulose in the previously identified applications in the United States (U.S.). High, average, and low market penetration estimates are provided for each application. Published data sources of materials use in the various applications provide the basis for estimating nanocellulose market size. Annual U.S. market potential for high-volume applications of nanocellulose is estimated at 6 million metric tons, based on current markets and middle market penetration estimates. The largest uses for nanocellulose are projected to be in packaging (2.0 million metric tons), paper (1.5 million metric tons), and plastic film applications (0.7 million metric tons). Cement has a potential nanocellulose market size of over 4 million metric tons on a global basis, but the U.S. market share estimated for cement is 21,000 metric tons, assuming market penetration is initially limited to the ultra-high performance concrete market. Total annual consumption of nanocellulose for low-volume applications is less than 10% of the high-volume applications. Estimates for nanocellulose use in emerging novel applications were not made because these applications generally have yet to come to market. The study found that the majority of the near-term market potential for nanocellulose appears to be in its fibrillar versus crystalline form. Market size estimates exceed three prior estimates for nanocellulose applications, but the methodologies for those studies are not transparent. Source

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