Biotechnology company Nanollose (ASX:NC6) has filed for a new patent, and investors approve.

The company said it’s been busy carrying out R&D in partnership with Grasim Industries, a subsidiary of the Mumbai-headquartered Aditya Birla Group.

NC6’s core technology is focused on developing eco-friendly processes to extract cellulose, which is used in the manufacture of products such as cotton and linen.

Traditionally cellulose has been extracted from tree-based sources, but NC6 extracts microbial cellulose from organic and agricultural waste which is then transformed into rayon fibres.

In today’s update, the company said researchers at Grasim have developed a new lyocell fibre using Nanollose’s trademarked Nullabor technology.

Shares in NC6 rose more than 30 per cent in morning trade to 6.6c.

The lyocell fibre is “finer than silk and significantly stronger than conventional lyocell made from wood pulp”, NC6 said.

That represents a “major advancement” over the company’s previous iterations of its Nullabor and Nufolium processes, which were derived from viscose.

The two companies have now filed a patent application for the new process while they commence a pilot production phase.

The patent will provide them with “additional intellectual property”, while also strengthening NC6’s relationship with Grasim and its global parent company.

NC6 said the goal of the pilot production phase will be to produce “initial commercial quantities” of the lyocell fibre, as a basis for establishing commercial partnerships with fashion brands.

The combination of NC6’s tree-free cellulose, “along with lyocell’s closed-loop production process, could potentially make
Nanollose’s Tree-Free lyocell one of the most eco-friendly and sustainable fibres available”, the company said.

NC6 said the global market for lyocell products is growing by around eight per cent a year, and is expected to reach $US1.5bn in size by 2024.

The joint application follows on from a Collaboration Agreement Nanollose signed with Grasim at the start of this year.

The agreement provides NC6 with a “world class and globally recognised industrial partner, with the ability to accelerate development and commercialisation” for textiles and clothes using the company’s tree-free fibres.