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Published on : Feb 29, 2016

The use of nanocellulose has been receiving immense financial and technical support over the past couple of years. Nanocellulose is closely related with reducing carbon footprint, which is why its utilization is gaining traction. Nanocellulose, which is either derived from plant cellulose or wood pulp exhibits exceptional thermal, rheological, mechanical, and structural properties in comparison to other cellulose-based derivatives and nanomaterial. The shape of nanocellulose can be ribbon-shaped, thread-shaped or short rod-shaped depending on the source and manufacturing process of the material.

Due to its exceptional durability and tensile strength properties, nanocellulose are useful for a large spectrum of applications – these are used for blocking oxygen in packaging films, these are used as rheological modifiers in oilfield chemicals, etc. Of the several nanocellulose products, nanofibrillated cellulose are widely used due to their durability and tensile strength properties. The manufacture of nanofibrillated cellulose involves a series of mechanical treatments resulting in exceptional durability and tensile strength to the material. Thus, nanofibrillated cellulose is suitable for various end users such as paper processing, paints and coatings, adhesives, oil and gas,, and composites.

Nanocrystalline cellulose products are another type of nanocellulose products to exhibit wide spectrum utilization. This includes personal care products, textiles, and packaging films. However, bacterial nanocellulose products will register the fastest growth rate in the coming years due to its biocompatibility. The material promotes chondrocyte proliferation and adhesion that are suitable for drug delivery systems and biotechnology and biomedical fields.

In experiments carried out at industry level, nanocellulose filters have proven their capabilities to be used for industrial scale water purification needs. In tests that were carried out at two Spanish factories and one Spanish water company, nanocellulose filters have proven to be highly effective for the purpose. Consequently, the tests conclude the efficacy of tests that were earlier conducted as Nano Select –a project led by the Luleå University of Technology and funded by the European Union.

With continued development in nanocellulose filters, researchers have been able to deliver filters that are fit right into housing filters and filter cartridges that are used in industry. These findings have arisen the interest of large companies for the adoption of nanocellulose for production and operational needs.