What is a cellulosic microfiber?
To begin with, let’s see what cellulose is.
In nature, we are surrounded by cellulose, as it is the major building block of all terrestrial and marine ecosystems on this planet. Cellulose is a polymer that naturally occurs in all plants, certain animals, and certain microorganisms.
In wood, a typical content of cellulose is 40-45 wt%. Driven by strong interactions among cellulose molecules, they assemble into fibrils, and further into fibril aggregates. When the aggregates are glued together with other natural polymers such as hemicelluloses and lignin, wood fibers are formed.
Cellulose microfibers are the isolated fibrils or fibril aggregates. They typically have cross-sectional widths ranging from 3 to 100 nanometers.
Over the last decade, cellulose microfibers have attracted increased attention, due to the enormous possibilities of using these sustainable and tiny fibers to make sustainable and high-performance materials, for a number of applications.