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Research progress of nanocellulose functional materials and their applications

Time : 2021-08-30 Hits : 19

Nanocellulose is the most abundant biomass resource on the earth. It has the advantages of easy degradation, renewable, non-toxic, cheap and easy to obtain, and is expected to replace traditional petrochemical resources and be used to produce various advanced functional materials with high added value. According to the preparation method and source of nanocellulose, nanocellulose can be divided into three categories: cellulose nanocrystalline (CNC), cellulose nanocellulose (CNF) and bacterial cellulose (BC).

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Figure 1. Sources, microstructure and potential applications of nanocellulose

Nanocellulose functional materials for chiral photonics

Chirality is ubiquitous in nature and plays an important role in life science and material science. CNC is a nanometer chiral photonic crystal material. The chiral nematic liquid crystal phase structure of CNC can not only be used to prepare functional film materials with high mechanical properties and special optical properties, but also be used as a kind of raw soft template to induce nanoparticles to form functional materials with chiral structure. Therefore, chiral catalysis, chiral metamaterials, polarization encryption and biosensing have important application value.

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Figure 2. Application of nanocellulose functional materials in chiral photonics

Nanocellulose functional materials for software drivers

n recent years, scientists have ingeniously designed a variety of biomimetic intelligent actuators based on soft material derived from various synthetic polymers, such as typical hydrogels, liquid crystal elastomers and shape memory polymers, to imitate or even surpass the driving behavior of living organisms. However, these traditional polymer-based materials are usually synthesized through complex processes, are costly and difficult to degrade or recycle, which may place a certain burden on the environment. It is worth noting that biomimetic software drivers based on nanocellulose have attracted more and more attention due to their superior mechanical flexibility, high moisture absorption capacity, sustainability or eco-friendliness, reusable or biodegradable and biocompatibility.

Nanocellulose functional materials for energy storage

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FIG. 3. Application of nanocellulose based functional materials in software driver field

Nanocellulose has a large specific surface area, excellent mechanical flexibility, good chemical stability and environmental friendliness, and the fibers are interlaced with each other. It is easy to form a porous structure for ion and electron transport. Hydrophilic functional groups such as hydroxyl group and carboxyl group are attached on the surface of the fiber, which has good moisture retention ability in electrolyte solution, making the derived functional materials have a wide application prospect in the field of energy storage. Nanocellulose based functional materials can not only be used as various components of energy storage devices, such as diaphragm, electrolyte, adhesive and carrier. At the same time, high temperature carbonization, in situ chemical polymerization and electrochemical deposition strategies can be used to composite with electroactive materials to obtain finer nanostructures and excellent electrochemical properties.

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Figure 4. Application of nanocellulose based functional materials in energy storage field

Nanocellulose functional materials for biomedical applications

n the dry state, the mechanical properties of nanocellulose are comparable to human bone, while in the wet state, the physical and chemical properties of nanocellulose are similar to extracellular matrix. Meanwhile, in addition to excellent physical and chemical properties, nanocellulose has high compatibility with other polymers or functional materials, which makes nanocellulose functional materials have good practical value and wide application prospects in the biomedical field.

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Figure 5. Application of nanocellulose based functional materials in biomedical field

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