Aerogel nanoarchitectonics based on cellulose nanocrystals and nanofibers from eucalyptus pulp: preparation and comparative study

Wenkai Zhu, Yang Zhang, Xiaoyu Wang, Yan Wu, Minsu Han, Jungmok You, Chong Jia, Jeonghun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Nanocellulose-based materials have attracted significant attention because of their attractive advantages. Particularly, aerogel, a porous nanocellulose material, have been used in diverse applications owing to their unique properties. In this study, short rod-like cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and long filament-like cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) were isolated from a eucalyptus pulp source using acidolysis and oxidation/mechanical methods, respectively. Subsequently, two different aerogels were prepared from the CNCs and CNFs using the sol–gel method and their properties were compared. The morphology, chemical structure, chemical composition, shrinkage rate, internal structure, thermal degradation, biophysical properties, and mechanical properties of the as-prepared aerogels were compared. Furthermore, the shrinkage of the CNC and CNF aerogels was effectively controlled using a supercritical CO2 drying process. Additionally, three decomposition regions were observed in the thermogravimetric analysis curves of the aerogels; however, the CNF aerogels exhibited enhanced thermal stability than the CNC aerogels. Further, the CNC and CNF aerogels exhibited a mesoporous structure, and the compressive strength of the CNC and CNF aerogels under 85% strain was 269.5 and 299.5 kPa, respectively. This study provides fundamental knowledge on the fabrication of CNCs, CNFs, and corresponding aerogels from lignocellulosic biomass, and their characteristics. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)817-833
Number of pages17
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was financially supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province of China (BK20201072), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (32071687, 22108091), the National First-class Disciplines (PNFD), the Project Funded by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD), the Postgraduate Research & Practice Innovation Program of Jiangsu Province (KYCX20_0868), and the Self-made Experimental Teaching Instrument Project of Nanjing Forestry University of 2021 (nlzzyq202113). In addition, this research was supported by the Yonsei University Research Fund of 2021 (2021-22-0034).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Polymers and Plastics


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