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Publication Title | State of the Art Manufacturing and Engineering of Nanocellulose: A Review of Available Data and Industrial Applications

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Journal of Biomaterials and Nanobiotechnology, 2013, 4, 165-188 165 http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/jbnb.2013.42022 Published Online April 2013 (http://www.scirp.org/journal/jbnb)

State of the Art Manufacturing and Engineering of Nanocellulose: A Review of Available Data and Industrial Applications

Serge Rebouillat1, Fernand Pla2

1Currently with DuPont Int. Op. European Headquarter, Geneva, Switzerland; 2Laboratoire Réactions et Génie des Procédés, UMR 7274, CNRS-Université de Lorraine, Nancy, France.

Email: sergereb@yahoo.com

Received January 18th, 2013; revised March 8th, 2013; accepted April 8th, 2013

Copyright © 2013 Serge Rebouillat, Fernand Pla. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

ABSTRACT

This review provides a critical overview of the recent methods and processes developed for the production of cellulose nanoparticles with controlled morphology, structure and properties, and also sums up (1) the processes for the chemical modifications of these particles in order to prevent their re-aggregation during spray-drying procedures and to increase their reactivity, (2) the recent processes involved in the production of nanostructured biomaterials and composites. The structural and physical properties of those nanocelluloses, combined with their biodegradability, make them materials of choice in the very promising area of nanotechnology, likely subject to major commercial successes in the context of green chemistry. With a prospective and pioneering approach to the subject matter, various laboratories involved in this domain have developed bio-products now almost suitable to industrial applications; although some important steps re- main to be overcome, those are worth been reviewed and supplemented. At this stage, several pilot units and demonstra- tion plants have been built to improve, optimize and scale-up the processes developed at laboratory scale. Industrial reactors with suitable environment and modern control equipment are to be expected within that context. This review shall bring the suitable processing dimension that may be needed now, given the numerous reviews outlining the prod- uct potential attributes. An abundant literature database, close to 250 publications and patents, is provided, consolidat- ing the various research and more practical angles.

Keywords: Nanocellulose; Processes; Production; Modifications; Biocomposites; Biomaterials; Engineering; Renewable; Bioadditives; Fibrous; Nanostructures; Green Chemistry

1. Introduction

Cellulose is an abundant natural material made from re- newable and sustainable resources which is biodegra- dable, carbon neutral with low environmental, health and safety risks. It serves as the dominant reinforcing phase in plant structures. Owing to its low cost, biodegrada- bility, low density and remarkable physical and mecha- nical properties, this material is subject of intensive re- search and development with the advent of nanotechnol- ogies [1,2].

For quite a time it has been used as an ingredient in many industrial processes such as pulp and papermaking and the manufacture of synthetic textile fibers (e.g. or- ganic and inorganic esters, alkyl, hydroxy alkyl and car- boxyl alkyl ethers) which are used as key active compo- nents in coatings, optical films, foodstuffs, pharmaceu-

tics, cosmetics, additives in building materials etc. Moreover, given to the cellulose properties, mostly functionality, durability and uniformity, its use continues to grow in other domains such as the conversion of cel- lulose from energy dedicated crops into biofuels to pro- duce cellulosic ethanol as an alternative fuel source. More recently, as further detailed in this review, the de- sign of processes using cellulose nanoparticles (CNs) for the generation of novel cellulose-based biomaterials and

composites is a clear trend [1-7].

Cellulose is mainly produced in wood and plants such

as hemp, flax, jute, ramie and cotton. It is also synthe- sized by algae, tunicates and bacteria [8-11]. Other abun- dant and largely unused sources of cellulose are agricul- tural residues (wastes and by-products) which are ob- tained at a low cost from a large variety of natural and re-

Copyright © 2013 SciRes.

JBNB

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