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Perspective: What do we still need to understand to commercialize nanocellulose?



Chelsea S. Davis, Danielle L. Grolman, Alamgir Karim, Jeffrey W. Gilman


Cellulosic nanomaterials have the potential to become predominant nanoparticles utilized in materials engineering fields ranging from flexible electronic supports1–3 and tissue scaffolds4,5 to nanocomposite reinforcement materials6–9 and aerogels for oil capture.10 The potential of this budding technological material is currently hindered by the ability to efficiently produce consistent nanocellulose-based products on an industrial scale. While several measurement methods and techniques have been employed by researchers to quantify key properties of nanomaterials, most notably surface properties, particle size, and degree of crystallinity, none of these techniques is inexpensive enough (in terms of both time and money) to be applicable for high throughput, full-scale industrial process monitoring. In an effort to highlight and identify the most critical measurement requirements, a workshop was conducted by NIST in conjunction with the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry’s (TAPPI) Nanotechnology Conference in 2014. This workshop brought together key researchers and manufacturers at the forefront of nanocellulose research and production. The goal of the workshop was to discuss the existing deficiencies in nanocellulose metrology to inform and inspire measurement science development in the field.
Green Materials


biomass, biomaterials, cellulose, characterization, environmental impact, nanobiomaterial, nanocomposites, renewable resources, sustainable materials


Davis, C. , Grolman, D. , Karim, A. and Gilman, J. (2015), Perspective: What do we still need to understand to commercialize nanocellulose?, Green Materials, [online], (Accessed April 22, 2024)
Created July 20, 2015, Updated November 10, 2018