- Polymers Journal
- January 2022
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
In the past decades, cellulose (one of the most important natural polymers), in the form of nanofibers, has received special attention. The nanofibrous morphology may provide exceptional
properties to materials due to the high aspect ratio and dimensions in the nanometer range of the nanofibers. The first feature may lead to important consequences in mechanical behavior if there
exists a particular orientation of fibers. On the other hand, nano-sizes provide a high surface-tovolume ratio, which can have important consequences on many properties, such as the wettability.
There are two basic approaches for cellulose nanofibers preparation. The top-down approach implies the isolation/extraction of cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) and nanocrystals (CNCs) from a variety
of natural resources, whereby dimensions of isolates are limited by the source of cellulose and extraction procedures. The bottom-up approach can be considered in this context as the production
of nanofibers using various spinning techniques, resulting in nonwoven mats or filaments. During the spinning, depending on the method and processing conditions, good control of the resulting
nanofibers dimensions and, consequently, the properties of the produced materials, is possible. Pulp, cotton, and already isolated CNFs/CNCs may be used as precursors for spinning, alongside cellulose
derivatives, namely esters and ethers. This review focuses on various spinning techniques to produce submicrometric fibers comprised of cellulose and cellulose derivatives. The spinning of cellulose
requires the preparation of spinning solutions; therefore, an overview of various solvents is presented showing their influence on spinnability and resulting properties of nanofibers. In addition, it is shown
how bottom-up spinning techniques can be used for recycling cellulose waste into new materials with added value. The application of produced cellulose fibers in various fields is also highlighted,
ranging from drug delivery systems, high-strength nonwovens and filaments, filtration membranes, to biomedical scaffolds.
- cellulose; nanofibers; cellulose derivatives; spinning techniques