What is it about?

The production of high aspect ratio cellulose nanofibres without resorting to very harsh mechanical and/or chemical processing steps remains a challenge that hinders progress in the fast-moving nanocellulose field. In response to this challenge, herein we report the preparation of high aspect ratio (>500) and small diameter (<8 nm) cellulose nanofibrils through the deconstruction of Australian native ‘spinifex’ grass (Triodia pungens) by applying very mild pulping conditions combined with only one pass of high pressure homogenization.

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Why is it important?

Spinifex grass has an unusually high hemicellulose content, which facilitates this easy fibrillation process.


Tensile measurements of the nanopaper produced by vacuum filtration indicated a high toughness of about 12 MJ m−3, a tensile strength of 82 MPa and a high elongation at break of 18%. The transverse elastic modulus of single nanofibrils analysed by AM-FM is in the range of 19–24 GPa. Under these mild processing conditions, Triodia pungens nanofibrils retained their crystallinity.

Dr Pratheep K Annamalai
University of Queensland

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This page is a summary of: Easily deconstructed, high aspect ratio cellulose nanofibres from Triodia pungens; an abundant grass of Australia's arid zone, RSC Advances, January 2015, Royal Society of Chemistry,
DOI: 10.1039/c5ra02936h.
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