Energy Efficient Manufacturing of Nanocellulose by Chemo- and Bio-Mechanical Processes: A Review


Nanocellulose is a new-age material derived from cellulosic biomass and has large specific surface area, high modulus and highly hydrophilic in nature. It comprises of two structural forms viz., nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) and nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC). This review provides a critical overview of the recent methods of bio- and chemo-mechanical processes for production of nanocellulose, their energy requirements and their functional properties. More than a dozen of pilot plants/commercial plants are under operation mostly in the developed countries, trying to exploit the potential of nanocellulose as reinforcing agent in paper, films, concrete, rubber, polymer films and so on. The utilization of nanocellulose is restricted mainly due to initial investment involved, high production cost and lack of toxicological information. This review focuses on the current trend and exploration of energy efficient and environment-friendly mechanical methods using pretreatments (both chemical and biological), their feasibility in scaling up and the future scope for expansion of nanocellulose application in diverse fields without impacting the environment. In addition, a nanocellulose quality index is derived to act as a guide for application based screening of nanocellulose production protocols.

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Bharimalla, A. , Deshmukh, S. , Patil, P. and Vigneshwaran, N. (2015) Energy Efficient Manufacturing of Nanocellulose by Chemo- and Bio-Mechanical Processes: A Review. World Journal of Nano Science and Engineering, 5, 204-212. doi: 10.4236/wjnse.2015.54021.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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