New protocol for the isolation of cellulose nanocrystals with good dispersability and high thermal stability

We have introduced a new protocol for the isolation of cellulose nanocrystals with an attractive combination of good dispersability and high thermal stability.

Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) attract great interest as inexpensive bio-based fillers in polymer nanocomposites. These highly crystalline rod-like particles can be isolated from a variety of bio-sources. CNCs display extremely high elastic moduli (100-150 GPa) and a high tensile strength (~10 GPa). Due to their outstanding mechanical properties and low cost, CNCs represent an intriguing alternative to carbon nanotubes. Over the last 15 years, many polymer nanocomposites comprising CNCs have been studied in research laboratories around the world, involving different types of CNCs and a diverse range of polymer matrices. We have recently introduced a new protocol for the isolation of CNCs from cellulose pulp via hydrolysis with phosphoric acid. This method affords CNCs with an attractive combination of good dispersability and high thermal stability (up to 250° C).

Adolphe Merkle Institute - Chemin des Verdiers 4 - CH-1700 Fribourg - Phone +41 26 300 9254