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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

What is nanocellulose?

There was a lot of discussion last week at the ISO TC6 meeting in Stockholm about cellulosic nanomaterials. See this video for some information from FPInnovations (Canada).
From Wikipedia:
Nanocellulose is a term referring to nano-structured cellulose. This may be either cellulose nanofibers (CNF) also called microfibrillated cellulose (MFC),nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC), or bacterial nanocellulose, which refers to nano-structured cellulose produced by bacteria. CNF is a material composed of nanosized cellulosefibrils with a high aspect ratio (length to width ratio).

Nanocellulose/CNF or NCC can be prepared from any cellulose source material, but woodpulpis normally used. The nanocellulose fibrils may be isolated from the wood-based fibers using mechanical methods which expose the pulp to high shear forces, ripping the larger wood-fibres apart into nanofibers. 

Crystalline cellulose has interesting mechanical properties for use in material applications. Its tensile strength is about 500MPa, similar to that of aluminium. Its stiffness is about 140–220 GPa, comparable with that of Kevlar and better than that of glass fiber, both of which are used commercially to reinforce plastics. Films made from nanocellulose have high strength (over 200 MPa), high stiffness (around 20 GPa) and high strain (12%). Its strength/weight ratio is 8 times that of stainless steel.

There are proposed uses for cellulosic nanomaterials in cosmetics, medicine, paint, plastic and other applications.

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