Eco-business / Social Venture

October 17, 2003


Bamboo Processed into a Cotton-like Fiber

Keywords: Chemicals Eco-business / Social Venture Ecosystems / Biodiversity Environmental Technology Manufacturing industry 

Ban Co., a venture-backed startup business in Japan's Tokushima Prefecture, has developed a technology to extract fiber from green bamboo through a steam-explosion process, which exposes bamboo to high temperature/high pressure steam in a pressure-resistant container and then returns it to normal pressure by explosively discharging the steam externally. The extracted bamboo fiber is processed into a soft, cotton-like fabric using a high-speed mixer.

Bamboo fiber absorbs chemical substances such as ammonia, ethylene, and formaldehyde, and also has antibacterial and moisture-proof qualities. Development of this technology has led to expectations that bamboo fiber will be used in various fields as an alternative natural material to hazardous chemical substances. Bamboo fiber can be used as a wall construction material, in wallpaper, non-woven textiles and bedclothes. Since the fiber is light and strong, it can be used as an alternative to fiberglass as well. Unlike fiberglass, bamboo fiber breaks down easily, so it doesn't damage incinerators when burned.

Bamboo trees grow to maturity in three to five years, whereas ordinary trees take more than 50 years to mature. The wider use of bamboo-derived substitutes for wood products will contribute to saving forest resources.

Posted: 2003/10/17 11:46:43 AM
Japanese version