Critical comparison of the properties of cellulose nanofibers produced from softwood and hardwood through enzymatic, chemical and mechanical processes

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Current knowledge on the properties of different types of cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) is fragmented. Properties variation is very extensive, depending on raw materials, effectiveness of the treatments to extract the cellulose fraction from the lignocellulosic biomass, pretreatments to facilitate cellulose fibrillation and final mechanical process to separate the microfibrils. Literature offers multiple parameters to characterize the CNFs prepared by different routes. However, there is a lack of an extensive guide to compare the CNFs. In this study, we perform a critical comparison of rheological, compositional, and morphological features of CNFs, produced from the most representative types of woody plants, hardwood and softwood, using different types and intensities of pretreatments, including enzymatic, chemical and mechanical ones, and varying the severity of mechanical treatment focusing on the relationship between macroscopic and microscopic parameters. This structured information will be exceedingly useful to select the most appropriate CNF for a certain application based on the most relevant parameters in each case.
CRUE-CSIC (Acuerdos Transformativos 2022)