Journals / JRM / Vol.4, No.5


    Introduction to the Special Issue on Nanocellulose Composites

    Craig Clemons, Srikanth Pilla
    Journal of Renewable Materials, Vol.4, No.5, pp. 295-296, 2016, DOI:10.7569/JRM.2016.634133
    Abstract Cellulose nanomaterials (CNs) are at the convergence of nanotechnology and bio-sourced material trends and are currently of considerable interest. CNs are a new class of nano-scale, cellulose-based building blocks extracted from trees and plants as well as certain animals, bacteria, and algae. CNs are not a single material type but a family of materials with different characteristics, which largely result from differences in source and preparation methodology. Here we focus on plant- and tree-derived CNs. More >


    Nanocellulose-Enabled Electronics, Energy Harvesting Devices, Smart Materials and Sensors: A Review

    Ronald Sabo1*, Aleksey Yermakov2, Chiu Tai Law3, Rani Elhajjar4
    Journal of Renewable Materials, Vol.4, No.5, pp. 297-312, 2016, DOI:10.7569/JRM.2016.634114
    Abstract Cellulose nanomaterials have a number of interesting and unique properties that make them well-suited for use in electronics applications such as energy harvesting devices, actuators and sensors. Cellulose nanofibrils and nanocrystals have good mechanical properties, high transparency, and low coefficient of thermal expansion, among other properties that facilitate both active and inactive roles in electronics and related devices. For example, these nanomaterials have been demonstrated to operate as substrates for flexible electronics and displays, to improve the efficiency of photovoltaics, to work as a component of magnetostrictive composites and to act as a suitable lithium ion battery separator membrane. A… More >


    Opportunities for Cellulose Nanomaterials in Packaging Films: A Review and Future Trends

    Nicole M. Stark
    Journal of Renewable Materials, Vol.4, No.5, pp. 313-326, 2016, DOI:10.7569/JRM.2016.634115
    Abstract Performance requirements for packaging films may include barrier properties, transparency, flexibility, and tensile strength. Conventional packaging materials, such as plastic films and laminates, are typically made from petroleum-based polymers. Currently, there is a drive to develop sustainable packaging materials. These alternative materials must be able to be manufactured economically and on a commercial scale, exhibit barrier properties and transparency, and provide adequate mechanical performance. As a biobased, renewable material, cellulose nanomaterials (CNs) are ideally suited to be used in sustainable packaging applications. CNs include cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) and each can provide benefit to packaging films. Manufactured… More >


    Nanocellulose in Spun Continuous Fibers: A Review and Future Outlook

    Craig Clemons
    Journal of Renewable Materials, Vol.4, No.5, pp. 327-339, 2016, DOI:10.7569/JRM.2016.634112
    Abstract Continuous fibers are commonly manufactured for a wide variety of uses such as filters, textiles, and composites. For example, most fibrous reinforcements (e.g., carbon fiber, glass fiber) for advanced composites are continuous fibers or yarns, fabrics, and preforms made from them. This allows broad flexibility in design and manufacturing approaches by controlling fiber orientation and architecture. However, there has been growing interest in preparing continuous fibers from biobased materials such as plants. Of particular recent interest are nanocelluloses, which are projected to be less expensive than many other nanomaterials and have the potential to be produced in large volumes. They… More >


    Cellulose Nanocrystals versus Polyethylene Glycol as Toughening Agents for Poly(Lactic Acid)-Poly(Acrylic Acid) Graft Copolymer

    Jose Luis Orellana, Michael Mauhar, Christopher L. Kitchens*
    Journal of Renewable Materials, Vol.4, No.5, pp. 340-350, 2016, DOI:10.7569/JRM.2016.634126
    Abstract Polylactic acid (PLA) is one of the most widely used biodegradable polymers due to the ability to synthesize it economically at industrial scale and its favorable properties for many consumer products. However, the rigid nature of PLA is not desirable for specific applications, requiring the incorporation of effective bioderived additives in order to enhance the PLA toughness and broaden applications. In this work, PLA was modified by graft polymerization of polyacrylic acid (PLA-g-PAA) to increase the hydrophilicity to promote compatibilization of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) or high molecular polyethylene glycol (PEG). CNCs were found to act as a nucleating agent for… More >


    Preparation and Characterization of Poly(butylene succinate) Bionanocomposites Reinforced with Cellulose Nanofiber Extracted from Helicteres isora Plant

    Jithin Joy1,2,3, Cintil Jose3, Srirama B. Varanasi4, Lovely Mathew P.2,3, Sabu Thomas2, Srikanth Pilla1,5*
    Journal of Renewable Materials, Vol.4, No.5, pp. 351-364, 2016, DOI:10.7569/JRM.2016.634128
    Abstract Isora nanofibers (INF) were produced by a combined thermal-chemical-mechanical method from Helicteres isora plant. The resulting fibers were analyzed using transmission electron microscopy and scanning electron microscopy, which showed a network-like structure with a length of 600 nm, width of 50 nm and an aspect ratio of 12. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy indicated that chemical treatments progressively removed noncellulosic constituents. X-ray diffraction analysis revealed that crystallinity increased with successive chemical treatments. Using the synthesized isora nanofibers, poly(butylene succinate) (PBS)-based biodegradable nanocomposites were prepared. The nanocomposites were processed using a Brabender twin-screw compounder and an injection molding machine. Effects of INF… More >


    Cellulose Nanomaterials as Binders: Laminate and Particulate Systems

    Mehdi Tajvidi1*, Douglas J. Gardner2, Douglas W. Bousfield3
    Journal of Renewable Materials, Vol.4, No.5, pp. 365-376, 2016, DOI:10.7569/JRM.2016.634103
    Abstract A novel application of cellulose nanomaterials, particularly cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) as a binder in conventional and novel laminate and particulate composite systems is discussed. Using cellulose nanomaterials as a reinforcing agent in conventional polymer composites faces several difficulties: 1) there are no easy ways to dry the CNF and maintain nanoscale dimensions, 2) there are compatibility issues related to cellulose-polymer bonding, and 3) there are issues related to obtaining a good distribution and redispersion of nanoscale materials inside a polymer matrix. An alternative strategy is applications in which cellulose nanomaterials can be used in the aqueous suspension form without first… More >


    Formation of Highly Oriented Cellulose Nanocrystal Films by Spin Coating Film from Aqueous Suspensions

    Mingzhe Jiang1, S. Nicole DeMass1, D. Ross Economy2, Thomas Shackleton1, Christopher L. Kitchens1*
    Journal of Renewable Materials, Vol.4, No.5, pp. 377-387, 2016, DOI:10.7569/JRM.2016.634131
    Abstract Spin coating was used to cast a uniform film of cellulose nanocrystals with low surface roughness and variable thickness as a function of operational parameters that include rotational speed and dispense suspension concentration. The film thickness was controllable from 40 nm up to 1 μm with surface roughness an order of magnitude less than blade-coating methods. The degree of radial orientation was qualitatively assessed and shown to be variable with processing parameters. Under specific processing conditions, the formation of striation patterns was observed and associated with film drying instability. The striation patterns are periodic in nature where the wavelength and… More >

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