Production and characterization of cellulose nanofibrils

I prepared cellulose nanofibril (CNF) in the biorefinery platform, and characterized its rheological and visual features.

Scanning transmission electron microscope images of cellulose nanofibrils I created.

CNF is a bundle of cellulose microfibrils with diameter in 5-100 nanometer range and length reaching to micrometer range. The development of value-added co-products is critical for the economic viability of biorefineries which convert biomass to commodity fuels. The raw materials used are two pulps from the NSERC Bioconversion Network. The biomass was converted to CNF by shear mixing and multiple mechanical shearing through a microfluidizer. The produced CNF’s viscous properties, morphology and stability were characterized and compared against two commercially available varieties. The CNF produced from organosolv pulp is a high surface area material with superior viscous properties, and it has great potential in viscosity modification applications.