TOKYO—Tosoh Corp. has attracted funding in Japan for a program to develop cellulose nanofiber reinforced chloroprene rubber materials.
The "low-cost manufacturing" project was submitted as a joint proposal with Bando Kagaku Co. Ltd., according to an Aug. 28 Tosoh statement.
Being targeted initially at power transmission belt applications, the project is backed by Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).
While Tosoh's statement did not include details of the NEDO grant, the company said it reflected the potential of the CNF project "to contribute to a recycling society."
An alternative to petroleum-derived raw materials, CNF is a biomass-derived fiber with a diameter of about 20 nm and a length of several μm. It is 80 percent lighter than steel but five times stronger.
The project, which is due to run to 2024, is focused on the manufacturing process technology and application developments to significantly reduce manufacturing costs.
CNF "is attracting attention as a new material that can make full use of resources in Japan, which has low resources, and around the world," noted Tosoh.