Eero Kontturi, Pavi Laaksonen, Markus B. Linder, Nonappa, Andre H. Groechel, Orlando J. Rojas, Olli Ikkala
Abstract: There is an emerging quest for lightweight materials with excellent mechanical properties and economic production, while still being sustainable and functionalizable. They could form the basis of the future bioeconomy for energy and material efficiency. Cellulose has long been recognized as an abundant polymer. Modified celluloses were, in fact, among the first polymers used in technical applications; however, they were later replaced by petroleum‐based synthetic polymers. Currently, there is a resurgence of interest to utilize renewable resources, where cellulose is foreseen to make again a major impact, this time in the development of advanced materials. This is because of its availability and properties, as well as economic and sustainable production. Among cellulose‐based structures, cellulose nanofibrils and nanocrystals display nanoscale lateral dimensions and lengths ranging from nanometers to micrometers. Their excellent mechanical properties are, in part, due to their crystalline assembly via hydrogen bonds. Owing to their abundant surface hydroxyl groups, they can be easily modified with nanoparticles, (bio)polymers, inorganics, or nanocarbons to form functional fibers, films, bulk matter, and porous aerogels and foams. Here, some of the recent progress in the development of advanced materials within this rapidly growing field is reviewed.
Reprinted with permission from John Wiley & Sons, Inc.