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Chemistry and applications of nanocrystalline cellulose and its derivatives: A nanotechnology perspective

Authors

  • B. L. Peng,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1
    2. State Key Laboratory of Chemical Engineering and Department of Chemistry, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237, P.R. China
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  • N. Dhar,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1
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  • H. L. Liu,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Chemical Engineering and Department of Chemistry, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237, P.R. China
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  • K. C. Tam

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1
    • Department of Chemical Engineering, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1. Telephone: 519-888-4567, ext 38339; Fax: 519-746-4979.
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  • Please note this article (shown above) is a part of the special series on: Nanotechnology. Previously published article on this series can be seen within 89(1) issue.

Abstract

Nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) is an emerging renewable nanomaterial that holds promise in many different applications, such as in personal care, chemicals, foods, pharmaceuticals, etc. By appropriate modification of NCC, various functional nanomaterials with outstanding properties, or significantly improved physical, chemical, biological, as well as electronic properties can be developed. The nanoparticles are stabilised in aqueous suspension by negative charges on the surface, which are produced during the acid hydrolysis process. NCC suspensions can form a chiral nematic ordered phase beyond a critical concentration, i.e. NCC suspensions transform from an isotropic to an anisotropic chiral nematic liquid crystalline phase. Due to its nanoscale dimension and intrinsic physicochemical properties, NCC is a promising renewable biomaterial that can be used as a reinforcing component in high performance nanocomposites. Many new nanocomposite materials with attractive properties were obtained by the physical incorporation of NCC into a natural or synthetic polymeric matrix. Simple chemical modification on NCC surface can improve its dispersability in different solvents and expand its utilisation in nano-related applications, such as drug delivery, protein immobilisation, and inorganic reaction template. This review paper provides an overview on this emerging nanomaterial, focusing on the surface modification, properties and applications of NCC.

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