Preparation and Characterization of Cellulose Nanofibers from Two Commercial Hardwood and Softwood Pulps

Wolfgang Stelte, Anand R. Sanadi

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    The aim of this work was to study the mechanical fibrillation process for the preparation of cellulose nanofibers from two commercial hard- and softwood cellulose pulps. The process consisted of initial refining and subsequent high-pressure homogenization. The progress in fibrillation was studied using different microscopy techniques, mechanical testing, and fiber density measurements of cellulose films prepared after different processing stages. The mechanical properties of cellulose films showed an increase in strength and stiffness with decreasing fiber size, and this stabilized after a certain number of passes in the homogenizer. Atomic force microscopy studies showed that the obtained cellulose nanofibers had diameters in the 10−25-nm range. The significant difference between the two samples was that the ultimate failure strain for cellulose films made of softwood fibers increased during the process whereas it remained constantly low for hardwood cellulose films. This difference could be due to the presence of shorter fibers and more defects in the films. An important point to note is that excessive processing reduced properties, as seen by the decrease in failure strain of softwood fiber films, and could also decrease other properties such as strength if the number of processing steps were further increased.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalIndustrial & Engineering Chemistry Research
    Issue number24
    Pages (from-to)11211-11219
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • Bio energy
    • Nanofibers
    • Cellulose
    • Cellulose Nanofiber Hardwood Softwood Preparation Characterization
    • Biomass gasification

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