Improved stabilisation of graphite nanoflake dispersions using hydrothermally-produced nanocellulose

Katarina Dimic-Misic*, Jean Buffiere, Monireh Imani, Kaarlo Nieminen, Herbert Sixta, Patrick Gane

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Dispersing graphite nanpoflakes in aqueous suspension is essential both during their processing and to realise the high level of functionality they offer. In this study two types of chemical-free nanocelluloses were assessed as possible dispersing agent for graphite nanoflakes. Hydrothermally-produced nanocellulose (HTC) obtained by supercritical water treatment of microcrystalline cellulose, showed superior dispersing than the more conventional, mechanically-produced microfibrillated nanocellulose (MFC) alternative, effectively preventing nanoflake agglomeration. Thanks to the specific processing method, the HTC material displayed higher total surface energy and a favourable particle morphology. These properties resulted in a 2-fold reduction in the volume median colloidal particle size of nanographite in suspension upon addition of only 2 w/w% nanocellulose. The improved single particle dispersion within the suspension matrix could be observed microscopically and was reflected rheologically. The latter was achieved by parameterising the stress-shear rate response and fitting the linear segments displaying the suspension coupling response. Using chemical-free nanocellulose as dispersant in aqueous medium is a positive step toward the exfoliation of nanographite into graphene in a more affordable and environmentally-friendly way.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125668
Number of pages14
JournalColloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
Early online date5 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Green chemistry
  • Nanocellulose
  • Nanographite
  • Nanoparticle dispersion
  • Supercritical water


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