University of Oulu

Jonasson, S., Bünder, A., Niittylä, T. et al. Isolation and characterization of cellulose nanofibers from aspen wood using derivatizing and non-derivatizing pretreatments. Cellulose 27, 185–203 (2020).

Isolation and characterization of cellulose nanofibers from aspen wood using derivatizing and non-derivatizing pretreatments

Saved in:
Author: Jonasson, Simon1; Bünder, Anne2; Niittylä, Totte2;
Organizations: 1Division of Materials Science, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden
2Umeå Plant Science Centre, Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden
3Fibre and Particle Engineering, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3.9 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-04-17


The link between wood and corresponding cellulose nanofiber (CNF) behavior is complex owing the multiple chemical pretreatments required for successful preparation. In this study we apply a few pretreatments on aspen wood and compare the final CNF behavior in order to rationalize quantitative studies of CNFs derived from aspen wood with variable properties. This is relevant for efforts to improve the properties of woody biomass through tree breeding. Three different types of pretreatments were applied prior to disintegration (microfluidizer) after a mild pulping step; derivatizing TEMPO-oxidation, carboxymethylation and non-derivatizing soaking in deep-eutectic solvents. TEMPO-oxidation was also performed directly on the plain wood powder without pulping. Obtained CNFs (44–55% yield) had hemicellulose content between 8 and 26 wt% and were characterized primarily by fine (height ≈ 2 nm) and coarser (2 nm < height < 100 nm) grade CNFs from the derivatizing and non-derivatizing treatments, respectively. Nanopapers from non-derivatized CNFs had higher thermal stability (280 °C) compared to carboxymethylated (260 °C) and TEMPO-oxidized (220 °C). Stiffness of nanopapers made from non-derivatized treatments was higher whilst having less tensile strength and elongation-at-break than those made from derivatized CNFs. The direct TEMPO-oxidized CNFs and nanopapers were furthermore morphologically and mechanically indistinguishable from those that also underwent a pulping step. The results show that utilizing both derivatizing and non-derivatizing pretreatments can facilitate studies of the relationship between wood properties and final CNF behavior. This can be valuable when studying engineered trees for the purpose of decreasing resource consumption when isolation cellulose nanomaterials.

see all

Series: Cellulose
ISSN: 0969-0239
ISSN-E: 1572-882X
ISSN-L: 0969-0239
Volume: 27
Issue: 1
Pages: 185 - 203
DOI: 10.1007/s10570-019-02754-w
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 221 Nanotechnology
216 Materials engineering
215 Chemical engineering
Funding: Open access funding provided by Lulea University of Technology.We are grateful for the financial support provided by the FORMAS within the Nanowood project (942-2016-10) and SweTree Technologies, Umeå Sweden for supplying hybrid aspen wood materials Bio4Energy, Swedish strategic reseach program for financial support and Kempestiftelserna.
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.