Cellulose nanofibers have good elastic modulus properties and can be used as nano-reinforcements in polymer composites. Native cellulose nanofibers from wood, Tunicate, and bacteria (Acetobacter xylium) were characterized by atomic force microscopy (AFM) to determine surface topography, aspect-ratio, and modulus. AFM imaging shows that cellulose nanofibers obtained through acid hydrolysis are short rigid rods, while nanofibers obtained through enzymatic hydrolysis and TEMPO-oxidation are longer, more flexible rods. In all of these cases, the nanofibers have a wide size distribution (length 100-1000 nm). We are currently developing a method for aspect-ratio fractionation. These aspect-ratio fractionated nanofibers can be added to a polymer and toughening capabilities measured.
Proceedings Title: 244th ACS National Meeting, Division of Cellulose and Renewable Materials
Conference Dates: August 19-23, 2012
Conference Location: Philadelphia, PA
Pub Type: Conferences