What is a Nanocellulose?
Nanocellulose is considered a large solid
substance that is extracted from plant matter having nano
sized cellulose fibrils. It is considered a useful futuristic material because of its physicochemical characteristics, which include chemical inertness, low density, increased strength, dimensional stability, and ability to modify surface chemistry. The lateral dimensions of nanocellulose lie within 5 to 20nm, while its longitudinal dimensions are found to be within 10's of nm to several microns. This material is pseudoplastic in nature, having properties of specific fluids or gel that, in normal conditions, have a thick consistency. Nanocellulose is categorized into major categories, including nanostructured materials and nanofibers. Nanocellulose has the potential to be a green nanomaterial due to its outstanding features. These characteristics are due to its increased surface area, tailorability of the with chemistry, improved mechanical characteristics, and anisotropic shape making it an excellent material to be used in a wide range of applications from biomedical engineering to material science, exhibiting an elevated potential for evolving industries. Other applications are its use as nanocomposite materials, biomedical products, catalytic supports, batteries, wood adhesive, supercapacitors, and electroactive polymers. Nanocellulose is also used as a food packaging material because of its safe use as a food thickener. Nanocellulose is also considered less expensive and a better alternative to carbon and glass fibre. It has the capability to replace photochemical products because it is cheaper in comparison to other high-performance nanoscale materials. It is also considered useful and appropriate material to be used in the paper and pulp industry to enhance absorbency.