About this Research Topic
Nanocellulose comprehends a broad range of materials including cellulose nanofibrils, nanocrystals, nanospheres, nanowhiskers etc. Nanocellulose has been produced through diverse methods for decades, with a rise in its development during the last twenty years. However, concerns regarding the processes through which nanocellulose is processed have not been widely addressed until recent times. These processes include any treatment from wet lignocellulosic biomass (plant cell wall) until the final product, which involves pulping, bleaching, and size reduction. The main advances so far include the development of new pulping techniques (as organosolv process), totally chlorine-free bleaching, and the use of mechanical nanofibrillation with new and more efficient processes.
The increased social and environmental awareness of people and institutions has put a lot of pressure in the agroforestry sector, with regulations added regularly worldwide to track and reduce the impact of commodities to the environment. One of the most audited industries has been that of packaging, but also the food additives, construction and building materials, furniture, and animal nutrition industries have been impacted by new standards, which require the reduction or avoidance of certain products. Among them, we can quote the use of chlorine during bleaching, but also the real need for fully bleached pulp. This, added to the importance of proper forestry management, have put the agroforestry sector on a mission to develop sustainable and efficient processes.
This Research Topic aims to showcase highly environmentally friendly processes to develop nano-scaled cellulose products (eg. partially bleached fibrils, regenerated cellulose, nanofibrillated lignocellulose), as well as processes for the green production of cellulose-based nanoentities. The cascade use of biomass within the circular economy will be highlighted, eg. the valorization of agroforestry products, the recycling of end of use lignocellulosic materials, etc.
We invite the submission of Original Research, Review, Mini Review, Perspective articles. This Topic will focus on the processing techniques and their energetic balance during the production of nanocellulose, always with the aim of a more environmentally benign production (optimization of the yield, reuse of reagents, etc.), and not on the potential use of the final nanocellulose products.
Keywords: Biomass valorisation, green chemistry, sustainable chemistry, nanocellulose, nanolignocellulose
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.