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August 31, 2017

ISO Publishes Standard Terms and Definitions for Cellulose Nanomaterial

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published standard ISO/TS 20477:2017, “Nanotechnologies — Standard terms and their definition for cellulose nanomaterial.”  The standard states that in industrial productions, cellulose nanomaterials can be manufactured by conversion of wood pulp through chemical, biological, or mechanical processes.  Due to their renewable nature and unique properties, cellulose nanomaterials have developed into platform materials that have application potential in a wide range of products, including those that currently utilize petroleum-based ingredients.  According to ISO, in the current stage of development, several terms to describe cellulose nanomaterials coexist and have created confusion among users.  Rather than delaying standards development until knowledge accumulated with market maturity is available, ISO states that it has an opportunity to define a standard vocabulary for cellulose nanomaterials as they enter the market place.  ISO anticipates that as the market for cellulose nanomaterials matures, so will the standard vocabulary.  Beginning to define a standard vocabulary now will facilitate future communication, eliminate confusion, remove trade barriers, and provide policy makers and regulators with a set of consensus-based terms.  The standard defines terms and definitions for different types of cellulose nanomaterials, including secondary components found in cellulose nanomaterials due to their manufacturing processes.  Terms are applicable to all types of cellulose nanomaterials regardless of production methods and their origin (plants, animals, algae, or bacteria).