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Keywords:

  • cellulose whiskers;
  • extrusion;
  • mechanical properties;
  • microfibrillated cellulose;
  • nanocomposites

Abstract

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Cross-linked alginate capsules a few millimeters in diameter have been formed by immersion in a CaCl2 solution. When adding cellulose whiskers or microfibrillated cellulose to the aqueous alginate solution, nanocomposite capsules containing 40 wt.% cellulosic nanoparticles were obtained. The morphology and compression strength of these capsules were investigated by microscopic observations and crushing tests, respectively. The capsules were extruded with a thermoplastic polymer. Visual inspection of the ensuing films shows a nonhomogeneous dispersion of the capsules that kept their integrity after extrusion. It results in preliminary disappointing mechanical properties of the composite films. However, further investigation is in progress to optimize this simple and ecofriendly process.