Manufacturing Design of Bio-based Ceiling Tiles using Nanocellulose

EPA Contract Number: EPD17012
Title: Manufacturing Design of Bio-based Ceiling Tiles using Nanocellulose
Investigators: Yildirim, Nadir
Small Business: Revolution Research, Inc. (RRI)
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Phase: I
Project Period: November 1, 2016 through April 30, 2017
Project Amount: $100,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2016) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Building Materials


Suspended ceiling tiles are widely used in commercial and residential construction because they offer flexibility and easy access to utilities. Most of the available tiles absorb water, resulting in sagging, staining, and mold/mildew growth. They also contain potentially hazardous chemicals and release airborne fibers when broken or cut. Existing tiles are not durable, requiring frequent replacement. In the U.S. alone, 10 million square feet of old ceiling tiles are discarded annually, most requiring landfilling as they are not compostable or recyclable.

Revolution Research, Inc. proposes to design the manufacturing process for a bio-based, “green” ceiling tile that is durable, non-hazardous, and compostable and that provides higher insulation properties than currently-available products. This innovative process will use nanocellulose, a widely-available byproduct of the forest products industry with impressive properties, as the primary raw material and will develop a process to treat the panels for flame retardancy, water resistance, and mold/mildew resistance using non-hazardous enhancements.

Ceiling tile sales are expected to reach $30 billion globally by 2020. Simultaneously, the green building materials market is growing and is expected to reach $255 billion in 2020. “BioTile” will meet the demand for an ecofriendly suspended ceiling tile at a competitive price.

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report