Developing fibrillated cellulose as a sustainable technological material

Tian Li, Chaoji Chen, Alexandra H. Brozena, J. Y. Zhu, Lixian Xu, Carlos Driemeier, Jiaqi Dai, Orlando J. Rojas, Akira Isogai, Lars Wågberg, Liangbing Hu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cellulose is the most abundant biopolymer on Earth, found in trees, waste from agricultural crops and other biomass. The fibres that comprise cellulose can be broken down into building blocks, known as fibrillated cellulose, of varying, controllable dimensions that extend to the nanoscale. Fibrillated cellulose is harvested from renewable resources, so its sustainability potential combined with its other functional properties (mechanical, optical, thermal and fluidic, for example) gives this nanomaterial unique technological appeal. Here we explore the use of fibrillated cellulose in the fabrication of materials ranging from composites and macrofibres, to thin films, porous membranes and gels. We discuss research directions for the practical exploitation of these structures and the remaining challenges to overcome before fibrillated cellulose materials can reach their full potential. Finally, we highlight some key issues towards successful manufacturing scale-up of this family of materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-56
Number of pages10
JournalNature
Volume590
Issue number7844
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2021
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

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