Robust Nanofibrillated Cellulose Hydro/Aerogels from Benign Solution/Solvent Exchange Treatment

Juanjuan Fan, Shinsuke Ifuku, Mengzhu Wang, Kojiro Uetani, Haiwei Liang, Haipeng Yu, Yongming Song, Xiaohe Li, Jiale Qi, Yiqun Zheng, Haigang Wang, Jing Shen, Xianquan Zhang, Qing Li, Shouxin Liu, Yixing Liu, Qingwen Wang, Jian Li, Ping Lu, Zhuangjun FanWenshuai Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


To fabricate robust nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) hydro/aerogels, benign solution/solvent exchange treatment was developed by adding five different water miscible solutions/solvents into a NFC aqueous suspension. The NFC self-aggregated and formed self-standing gels during the solution/solvent exchange treatment. After a further exchange of solution/solvent inside the gels with water by a thorough water washing followed by freeze-drying, NFC hydrogels and aerogels were obtained. The NaOH-hydrogel demonstrated a decent rheology with a storage modulus of 36.4 kPa and a satisfactory mechanical property with a compressive modulus of 37.6 kPa. On the contrary, the acetone-hydrogel was weak due to disaggregation. The NFC aerogels were lightweight and had a characteristic porous structure. The packing density and structure varied among aerogels with different solution/solvent treatments. The NaOH-aerogel had a 2D sheet-like structure with densely packed micrometer-sized pores uniformly distributed within the aerogel network, which demonstrated a high compressive strength. However, the structures of other aerogels were loose, leading to a low compressive strength. These NFC aerogels demonstrated high thermal stability and superior performance for efficient thermal insulation. We believe our work can stimulate interest in the development of NFC hydro/aerogels with multiple structures, properties, and functions for a variety of applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6624-6634
Number of pages11
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 7 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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