Research needs for nanocellulose commercialization and applications


Author: TOM LINDSTRÕM
Research needs for nanocellulose commercialization and appl
INTRODUCTION: This short review deals with some applications and research needs for nanocellulosic (NC) materials; primarily cellulose nanocrystals (CNC), cellulose nanofibers (CNF), and bacterial cellulose (BC). Whereas CNC and BC materials are fairly homogenous, CNF materials represent a wide sector of different materials, often with a high heterogeneity. This is due to different pretreatment methods (mechanical, chemical, enzymatic), woodbased or agricultural-based materials, delignification and bleaching procedures, etc. The purpose of this comprehensive review is not to discuss the various production methods, for which the reader may consult with a selected number of reviews [1-6]; thus, the focus is on practical applications. Practical applications and potential markets were also discussed some years ago by other investigators [7-8]. Upscaling and choice of pretreatment methods, as well as economic considerations and different business models, have also been discussed, along with: œ Toxicity and environmental issues [9-10] œ The complex characterization of cellulose nanomaterials [4] The reader should also be aware of new contenders to the three classic groups of cellulosic nanomaterials, which are already in a commercial phase. These include cellulose filaments [11-12] and materials from mechanical grinding processes [13], and these materials may be nanostructures or not, depending on our classification. Finally, as indicated by the editorial on p. 275, scientists are currently taking a deep dive into the fundamental features of nanocellulosic materials [14-15].
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