Cellulose Nanomaterials and Nanocomposites

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Nanocomposite Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2024 | Viewed by 5280

Special Issue Editors

Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials, University Complutense of Madrid, Av. Complutense s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: nanocellulose; papermaking; fiber-reinforced cement; nanofiber-reinforced cement; flocculation; paper recycling; water treatment
Coimbra Chemistry Centre, Department of Chemistry, University of Coimbra, 3004-535 Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: nanocellulose; papermaking; natural-fiber-reinforced composites; nanocomposites; biomaterials
Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials, University Complutense of Madrid, Av. Complutense s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: nanocellulose; papermaking; paper recycling; water treatment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cellulose nanomaterials and nanocomposites have been demonstrated to provide a greater contribution to sustainability, due to their excellent potential as biodegradable and renewable alternatives to non-biodegradable polymers used in single-use plastics, reinforcing fibers, and coatings in different industrial sectors, such as, for example, papermaking, building, electronics, and medicine. Cellulose nanopapers have attracted the attention of numerous researchers as a result of their unique physical and optical properties, as well as their ability to be modified to present electric and magnetic properties. Cellulose nanomaterials obtained from, for example, cellulose nanofibers, have been proved to reinforce composite materials, such as biodegradable polymers PLA, paper, and cement. A new generation of materials consisting of or reinforced with nanocelluloses are required to replace high-environmental-impacting materials. However, this requires further research efforts in order to make more feasible the production and commercialization of these materials.

The current Special Issue invites submissions of papers concerning the novel contributions to the knowledge on cellulose nanomaterials, such as nanopapers and materials modified with nanocelluloses, including cement, plastics, and paper. Lengthy papers, short communications, and reviews are also welcome for submission.

Prof. Dr. Elena Fuente
Dr. Roberto Aguado
Dr. Ana Balea
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • cellulose nanopaper
  • cellulose nanofibers
  • cellulose nanocrystals
  • cellulose nanowhiskers
  • cellulose hydrogel
  • cellulose aerogel
  • nanocelulose
  • nanofibrillated cellulose
  • cellulose nanocomposites
  • cellulose nanoreinforcement

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 18588 KiB  
Article
Characterization of CNC Nanoparticles Prepared via Ultrasonic-Assisted Spray Drying and Their Application in Composite Films
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(22), 2928; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13222928 - 10 Nov 2023
Viewed by 978
Abstract
The ultrasonic-assisted spray dryer, also known as a nano spray dryer and predominantly used on a lab scale in the pharmaceutical and food industries, enables the production of nanometer-sized particles. In this study, the nano spray dryer was applied to cellulosic materials, such [...] Read more.
The ultrasonic-assisted spray dryer, also known as a nano spray dryer and predominantly used on a lab scale in the pharmaceutical and food industries, enables the production of nanometer-sized particles. In this study, the nano spray dryer was applied to cellulosic materials, such as cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) and cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs). CNC suspensions were successfully dried, while the CNF suspensions could not be dried, attributable to their longer fibril lengths. The nano spray drying process was performed under different drying conditions, including nebulizer hole sizes, solid concentrations, and gas flow rates. It was confirmed that the individual particle size of nano spray-dried CNCs (nano SDCNCs) decreased as the nebulizer hole sizes and solid contents of the suspensions decreased. The production rate of the nano spray dryer increased with higher solid contents and lower gas flow rates. The resulting nano SDCNCs were added to a polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) matrix as a reinforcing material to evaluate their reinforcement behavior in a plastic matrix using solvent casting. After incorporating the 20 wt.% nano SDCNCs into the PVA matrix, the tensile strength and tensile modulus elasticity of the neat PVA nanocomposite film increased by 22% and 32%, respectively, while preserving the transparency of the films. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellulose Nanomaterials and Nanocomposites)
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17 pages, 9453 KiB  
Article
Fit-for-Use Nanofibrillated Cellulose from Recovered Paper
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(18), 2536; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13182536 - 11 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 690
Abstract
The cost-effective implementation of nanofibrillated cellulose (CNF) at industrial scale requires optimizing the quality of the nanofibers according to their final application. Therefore, a portfolio of CNFs with different qualities is necessary, as well as further knowledge about how to obtain each of [...] Read more.
The cost-effective implementation of nanofibrillated cellulose (CNF) at industrial scale requires optimizing the quality of the nanofibers according to their final application. Therefore, a portfolio of CNFs with different qualities is necessary, as well as further knowledge about how to obtain each of the main qualities. This paper presents the influence of various production techniques on the morphological characteristics and properties of CNFs produced from a mixture of recycled fibers. Five different pretreatments have been investigated: a mechanical pretreatment (PFI refining), two enzymatic hydrolysis strategies, and TEMPO-mediated oxidation under two different NaClO concentrations. For each pretreatment, five high-pressure homogenization (HPH) conditions have been considered. Our results show that the pretreatment determines the yield and the potential of HPH to enhance fibrillation and, therefore, the final CNF properties. These results enable one to select the most effective production method with the highest yield of produced CNFs from recovered paper for the desired CNF quality in diverse applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellulose Nanomaterials and Nanocomposites)
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11 pages, 1959 KiB  
Article
Dynamic Light Scattering Plus Scanning Electron Microscopy: Usefulness and Limitations of a Simplified Estimation of Nanocellulose Dimensions
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(23), 4288; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12234288 - 02 Dec 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1853
Abstract
Measurements of nanocellulose size usually demand very high-resolution techniques and tedious image processing, mainly in what pertains to the length of nanofibers. Aiming to ease the process, this work assesses a relatively simple method to estimate the dimensions of nanocellulose particles with an [...] Read more.
Measurements of nanocellulose size usually demand very high-resolution techniques and tedious image processing, mainly in what pertains to the length of nanofibers. Aiming to ease the process, this work assesses a relatively simple method to estimate the dimensions of nanocellulose particles with an aspect ratio greater than 1. Nanocellulose suspensions, both as nanofibers and as nanocrystals, are subjected to dynamic light scattering (DLS) and to field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM). The former provides the hydrodynamic diameter, as long as the scatter angle and the consistency are adequate. Assays with different angles and concentrations compel us to recommend forward scattering (12.8°) and concentrations around 0.05–0.10 wt %. Then, FE-SEM with magnifications of ×5000–×20,000 generally suffices to obtain an acceptable approximation for the actual diameter, at least for bundles. Finally, length can be estimated by a simple geometric relationship. Regardless of whether they are collected from FE-SEM or DLS, size distributions are generally skewed to lower diameters. Width distributions from FE-SEM, in particular, are well fitted to log-normal functions. Overall, while this method is not valid for the thinnest fibrils or for single, small nanocrystals, it can be useful in lieu of very high-resolution techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellulose Nanomaterials and Nanocomposites)
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12 pages, 7196 KiB  
Article
Bio-Catalysis for the Functionalization of Cellulose Nanocrystals
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(22), 4064; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12224064 - 18 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1237
Abstract
In this work, the chemical modification of cellulose nanocrystals (NCs) using an enzyme as a catalyst has been performed by a “grafting from” reaction, in order to covalently functionalize the external surface of NCs with both poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) and poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) by [...] Read more.
In this work, the chemical modification of cellulose nanocrystals (NCs) using an enzyme as a catalyst has been performed by a “grafting from” reaction, in order to covalently functionalize the external surface of NCs with both poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) and poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) by ring-opening polymerization. Firstly, cellulose nanocrystals were prepared from commercial cellulose microcrystals by acid hydrolysis and then functionalized by using Yarrowia lipolytica lipase immobilized on Lewatit resin as a catalyst. To confirm the success of the grafting reactions, 1H-NMR has been performed as well as FT-IR and Raman spectroscopy. Moreover, thermogravimetric analysis has been used to determine the amount of polymeric chains grafted onto the surface of cellulose nanocrystals. Furthermore, the crystalline nature of the polymeric chains grafted onto the cellulose surface has been studied by DSC, X-ray scattering, as well as SAXS analysis. To our knowledge, it is the first time that a biocatalyst approach has been used to obtain biopolymeric functionalized cellulose nanocrystals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellulose Nanomaterials and Nanocomposites)
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