The ‘Discover Natural Fibres Initiative’ (DNFI) is an international association of more than 30 natural fiber manufacturers and research institutions. Its annual award for innovative products, processes and scientific achievements in the field of natural fibers goes this year to DITF Denkendorf for the development of ‘PureCell’, a pure fiber composite made of cellulose.
The aim of the DNFI is to educate companies about the added value of natural fibers and to identify new applications. The DNFI makes statistical data on the production of natural fibers and information on innovative technologies in fiber production and processing available on a digital platform.
For the sixth time since 2017, the DNFI has offered the ‘DNFI Innovation of Natural Fibres Award’. This award aims to draw public attention to innovative and pioneering science-based work and products based on natural fibers.
This year, the prize was awarded to Dr. Frank Hermanutz and Dr. Tanja Schneck, whose work ‘PureCell – Natural fiber-reinforced composites based on pure cellulose’ presents a single-variety composite material made of cellulose. The cellulose matrix of PureCell is produced in a process in which the solvent from ionic liquids is 100% recycled. After impregnation of the natural fibers serving as reinforcement with the cellulose matrix, the desired composite material can be obtained. The manufacturing process is thus particularly environmentally friendly and follows the sustainability concept in textile and material production. The composite material is lightweight and impresses with its high mechanical strength. It can be easily molded in a hot pressing process and thus prepared as a component for technical parts.
With this award, the jury honors outstanding scientific achievement in the field of innovative research and processing with natural fibers. An important criterion for the award is also the advanced stage of development of PureCell, which offers the potential to open up new applications for products made from natural fibers.
The award ceremony was announced by DNFI on September 27. The award ceremony will take place at the DNFI Annual Conference in Frankfurt during the Heimtextil trade fair (January 11 / 12, 2022).
Dr. rer. nat. Frank Hermanutz
Head of Competence Center Biopolymer Materials
T +49 (0)711 93 40-140