Adhesion and Surface Issues in Cellulose and Nanocellulose
This paper provides a review of the scientific literature concerned with adhesion and surface properties of cellulose and nanocellulose. Cellulose is the most abundant chemical compound on earth and its natural affinity for self-adhesion has long been recognized. The ease of adhesion that occurs in cellulose has contributed to its use in paper and other fiber-based composite materials. Cellulose adhesion, which has received considerable attention over the past half century, occurs over a practical length scale ranging from the nanoscale to millimeters. Adhesion theories that have been examined in the bonding of cellulose fibers include: mechanical interlocking, adsorption or wetting theory, diffusion theory, and the theory of weak boundary layers. Cellulose fibers on the nanoscale are prepared in four different ways: (1) bacterial cellulose nanofibers, (2) cellulose nanofibers by electrospinning, (3) microfibrillated cellulose plant cell fibers and (4) nanorods or cellulose whiskers. Structure and properties of nanocellulose that are important include: morphology, crystalline structure, surface properties, chemical and physical properties, and properties in liquid suspension. Cellulosic nanofibers present a very high surface area which makes the adhesion properties the most important parameter to control for nanocomposite applications. In this paper, we will focus on discussion of the adhesion and surface characteristics of cellulose nanofibers that impact its properties and application in nanomaterials.