Preparation and use of lignocellulose nanomaterials in energy storage devices

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Cellulose nanomaterials (CNs) obtained from fully-bleached (lignin-free) chemical fibers, such as cellulose nanoparticles (CNPs), cellulose nanofibers (CNFs), microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) have been a topic of extensive research during last decades since they constitute a biodegradable, renewable and naturally abundant resource with an important scientific and technological potential. However, the bleaching process is an energy-intensive process and some environmentally hazardous compounds would be produced during the bleaching steps.

Therefore, now there is a growing interest in the investigations of cellulose nanomaterials prepared from diverse non-bleached cellulose pulps, obtaining CNs containing a significant amount of residual lignin, also called lignocellulose nanomaterials (LCNs), including lignocellulose nanofibers (LCNFs), lignocellulose nanocrystals (LCNs), etc. In addition, the lignin content can be adjusted by adding lignin, previously extracted from fibers to adjust the polarity and hydrophilicity of cellulose nanofibres, allowing potentially new applications.

The use of lignocellulose, instead of fully bleached pulps, for the production of advanced nanomaterials, contributes to resource efficiency and means using the natural limited resources in a sustainable manner while minimizing impacts on the environment.

Overall, the aim of this project is to investigate the impact of the morphological characteristics of fibers and their chemical composition on the production process and properties of LCNs and their applications in different fields, in particular in energy storage devices. The properties and performances of various types of obtained lignocellulose nanomaterials will be evaluated, simultaneously, revealing the connection between the properties of LCNs and their performances in practical applications to further achieve the goal of the value-added application of lignocellulose materials.

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