Process for the Low Cost and Non-Toxic Isolation of Cellulose Nanofibers from Grass Biomass

Inventor(s): Stuart Rowan Han Yang

    SUMMARY

    •Cellulose nanofibers are a class of nanocellulose that are favored in materials applications because of their desirable chemical, mechanical, and environmental properties. However, the isolation of these materials from biomass remains a challenge because of toxic chemicals and high-energy specialized machines required.

    •The inventors have developed a new process to isolate cellulose nanofibers from the well characterized grass biomass source miscanthus X. Giganteas. The process uses cheap, non-toxic chemicals, does not require any mechanical treatment, and produces materials with enhanced properties.

    •The invention is a process for isolating cellulose nanofibers from a grass biomass requiring only: 1) bleach pretreatment, 2) oxidation with ammonium persulfate and 3) ultrasonication. The process uses far cheaper and less toxic treatment chemicals and requires less specialized equipment than current methods.

    •In proof-of-concept experiments, the inventors used their process to isolate cellulose nanofibers with a height of 3.8nm and a length of 880nm. The resulting nanofibers had a tensile strength of 89.19MPa and formed a gel in DMF suspension with a concentration as low as 0.6%wt.

     

    FIGURE

    Cellulose nanofibers dissolved in DMF at different weight percentages (shown in white). Compositions above 0.6% form a gel in solution after sitting for 24 hours, an important property which enables easy material modification and processing.

     

    ADVANTAGES

    ADVANTAGES

    •Does not require expensive and high-energy equipment

    •Input chemicals are non-toxic and inexpensive

    •Nanofibers gel at low concentrations and are easily processed

     

    APPLICATIONS

    •Materials science: stand-alone material or additive

    •Automotive

    •Packaging

    •Paper

    •Construction

    •Aerospace

    •Filtration

     

    PUBLICATIONS

    Yang, et al. Preparation of cellulose nanofibers from Miscanthus x. Giganteus by ammonium persulfate oxidation. Carbohydrate polymers. 212 (2019) 30-39.

     

    TECH DETAILS

    Published
    12/12/2019

    Reference ID
    18-T-037

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