How It’s Made: Studying Nanocellulose Production Methods

Cellulose nanofibrils are considered a promising renewable alternative to existing materials in many fields. Made from natural resources such as wood and non-wood plants, this material has great potential given the availability of the resource, the viability of processing it, and its performance.

Cellulose nanofibrils can be produced using a variety of chemical and/or mechanical processes. FPL researchers Ron Sabo, J.Y. Zhu, and Zhiyong Cai, along with partners from the Central South University of Forestry and Technology in China, recently studied how cellulose nanofibrils properties are affected by variations in production methods.

The group aimed to further understand the effects of chemical pretreatments and mechanical defibrillation on the properties of cellulose nanofibrils and the films made from them. A summary of their findings was presented at the Advancements in Fiber-Polymer Composites conference in Milwaukee, Wis. in May, 2013.