Banner for LabNotes
From Lab Notes
Contact Information
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


You are here: FPL Home  / Information Products & Services  / Publications

Requested Product

Title: Characterization of the supramolecular structures of cellulose nanocrystals of different origins

Source: Cellulose

Author(s)Agarwal, Umesh P.; Reiner, Richard S.; Ralph, Sally A.; Catchmark, Jeffery ; Chi, Kai ; Foster, E. Johan; Hunt, Christopher G.; Baez, Carlos ; Ibach, Rebecca E.; Hirth, Kolby C.

Publication Year: 2021  View PDF »

Category: Journal Articles

Abstract: Properties of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) depend upon their supramolecular structures, which are important to understand in order to optimize their applications. In this investigation, the structures of CNCs produced upon 48–64% H2SO4 hydrolysis of hydrothermally-treated poplar, bleached kraft pulp cotton microcrystalline cellulose, bacterial cellulose, tunicin, and cladophora cellulose were comparatively analyzed. TEM provided information on the morphological aspects. Raman, MAS-NMR, and XRD provided information on one aspect of the supramolecular organization, namely, crystallinity (CrI). Other characteristics of supramolecular structure were analyzed by various Raman methods, namely, accessibility to water, exocyclic CH2OH conformation ratio, and chain conformation disorder (CCONDIS)—the last method was developed in the present study. In general, CNCs retained the crystallinity of the starting material irrespective of the measurement method of CrI. Additionally, it was found that crystallite size and supramolecular organization infuenced CrI as well. These analyses further indicated that poplar- and pulp CNCs had signifcantly higher water accessibility as compared with CNCs from cladophora, bacterial, tunicin, and cotton MCC CNCs, implying higher molecular disorder, which was also reflected in measurements of CH2OH conformation ratio and CCONDIS. The findings indicate that significant differences among the CNCs seem to arise largely from differences between the starting materials. Additionally, considering that CNCs can have very different morphologies and structural properties depending upon how they are produced, the analyses carried out here can characterize such CNCs and estimate their applications.

Keywords: Cellulose; tunicin; bacterial; cladophore; wood; pulp; cotton; crystallinity; Raman spectroscopy

Publication Review Process: Formally Refereed

File size: 963 kb(s)

Date posted: 03/22/2021

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 10132
Current FPL Scientists associated with this product (listed alphabetically)
Agarwal, Umesh P.
Research Chemist
Hunt, Christopher G.
Research Chemist
Ibach, Rebecca E.
Research Chemist

Additional items that might interest you
View the video celebrating FPL's 100 years of public service in 2010, from the producers of the Greatest Good....view

Research Highlights from FPL....view

Termite Eradication: A search for the Holy Grail.... view

Moisture Management in Residential Construction Series videos...view

Wood Floor Systems in Residential Construction Series videos....view
- FPL's Mission and Strategic Plan -

FPL's mission is to identify and conduct innovative wood and fiber utilization research that contributes to conservation and productivity of the forest resource, thereby sustaining forests, the economy, and quality of life. ... ..more »

- FPL Research Emphasis Areas -
Advanced Composites

As an integral part of the FPL mission, we improve the long-term sustainability of our Nation's forests by creating valuable composite products from biobased materials ... ..more »

Advanced Structures

The FPL has been in the forefront of wood-frame housing research since 1910 and has long been recognized as a world leader in such housing-related areas as engineered wood ... ..more »

Forest Biorefinery

We all know the compelling reasons that the United States needs to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Historically, the greatest increases in energy demand have been for transportation fuels ... ..more »


A leader in wood products research for over a century, the FPL is positioning itself to become the lead Federal research facility for the application of nanotechnology in forest products ... more »

Woody Biomass Utilization

Forests in the United States contain a substantial amount of small-diameter, overstocked, and underutilized material.FPL research projects are exploring the potential of the small-diameter ... ..more »