What is a cellulosic micro-fibril?
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 micro-fibrils, and further into fibril aggregates. When the aggregates are glued together with other natural structures such as hemicelluloses and lignin, wood fibers are formed.
Cellulosic micro-fibrils and fibril aggregates typically have cross-sectional widths ranging from 3 to 100 nanometers.
Over the last decade, cellulosic micro-fibrils have attracted increased attention, due to possibilities of using these sustainable and tiny materials for a number of applications.