American Chemical Society
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Holocellulose Nanofibers of High Molar Mass and Small Diameter for High-Strength Nanopaper

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-08-10, 00:00 authored by Sylvain Galland, Fredrik Berthold, Kasinee Prakobna, Lars A. Berglund
Wood cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) based on bleached pulp are different from the cellulose microfibrils in the plant cell wall in terms of larger diameter, lower cellulose molar mass, and modified cellulose topochemistry. Also, CNF isolation often requires high-energy mechanical disintegration. Here, a new type of CNFs is reported based on a mild peracetic acid delignification process for spruce and aspen fibers, followed by low-energy mechanical disintegration. Resulting CNFs are characterized with respect to geometry (AFM, TEM), molar mass (SEC), and polysaccharide composition. Cellulose nanopaper films are prepared by filtration and characterized by UV–vis spectrometry for optical transparency and uniaxial tensile tests. These CNFs are unique in terms of high molar mass and cellulose–hemicellulose core–shell structure. Furthermore, the corresponding nanopaper structures exhibit exceptionally high optical transparency and the highest mechanical properties reported for comparable CNF nanopaper structures.