Cellulose nanocrystals developed at McGill stand to create opportunities in Quebec’s forestry sector

The McGill Reporter
March 5, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada East

TEMISCAMING, Quebec — Researchers at a McGill University chemistry lab led by Professor Mark Andrews may not have imagined that their work on cellulose nanocrystals would end up creating economic opportunity in the northwestern Quebec region of Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Their quest to get cellulose nanocrystals to yield vibrant iridescent colours led to the founding in 2016 of Anomera. Today, the company’s range of cellulose nanocrystal products, which are created from wood pulp and wood waste, have an array of environmentally friendly applications, ranging from replacing microplastics in cosmetics to reducing the carbon footprint of products like concrete. Two years ago, Anomera opened a $30 million manufacturing facility in Témiscaming. At present, it provides jobs for nine people in the region, with another 15 employees at the company’s offices and laboratories in downtown Montreal. More importantly, Anomera provides an innovative and sustainable path to diversify Quebec’s forestry products sector.

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