Cellulose nanostructures from agricultural wastes as building block for functional materials

Johanna Mae Indias PhD student /University of Trento
Nanocellulose is a natural polymer which is getting a lot of interest for the past decade due to its various applications (e.g. gas barrier films, flame retardant materials, and biocomposites). The main goal of the research is to develop a more sustainable industry-scale method to recover nanocellulose from more coarse agricultural wastes. We consider different chemical reactions to reduce the macroscopic fiber into their nanosized building blocks. Starting materials used were cellulose fibers, farina di agrumi, and already TEMPO-oxidized nanocellulose. Moreover, different methods of functionalizing nanocellulose to impart desired properties like hydrophobicity and improved thermal stability are also being investigated.