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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2014, Article ID 582913, 11 pages
Research Article

The Effect of Chemical and High-Pressure Homogenization Treatment Conditions on the Morphology of Cellulose Nanoparticles

1Key Biomass Energy Laboratory of Henan Province, Zhengzhou, Henan 450008, China
2School of Renewable Natural Resources, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA

Received 22 July 2014; Revised 10 September 2014; Accepted 12 September 2014; Published 19 October 2014

Academic Editor: Antonios Kelarakis

Copyright © 2014 Suxia Ren et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cellulose nanoparticles were fabricated from microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) through combined acid hydrolysis with sulfuric and hydrochloric acids and high-pressure homogenization. The effect of acid type, acid-to-MCC ratio, reaction time, and numbers of high-pressure homogenization passes on morphology and thermal stability of the nanoparticles was studied. An aggressive acid hydrolysis was shown to lead to rod-like cellulose nanocrystals with diameter about 10 nm and lengths in the range of 50–200 nm. Increased acid-to-MCC ratio and number of homogenization treatments reduced the dimension of the nanocrystals produced. Weak acid hydrolysis treatment led to a network of cellulose nanofiber bundles having diameters in the range of 20–100 nm and lengths of a few thousands of nanometers. The high-pressure homogenization treatment helped separate the nanofiber bundles. The thermal degradation behaviors characterized by thermogravimetric analysis at nitrogen atmosphere indicated that the degradation of cellulose nanocrystals from sulfuric acid hydrolysis started at a lower temperature and had two remarkable pyrolysis processes. The thermal stability of cellulose nanofibers produced from hydrochloric acid hydrolysis improved significantly.