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Enzymatic Treatment of Natural fibres – A novel approach in nanofibre production

S. Janardhnan and M. Sain
University of Toronto, CA

Keywords:
nano-fibres, bio-composites, enzymatic treatment

Abstract:
Elementarization of natural fibres to microfibres and nanofibres is gaining momentum due to their unique combination of high strength and aspect ratio, both of which are essential for a reinforcing fibre. Preparation and application of nanocomposites using cellulose microfibres are expanding rapidly in composite science. Most of the microfibres are joined laterally by means of hydrogen bonding. Any further separation of microfibres would require additional energy. Poor economics due to high energy requirement in the generation of cellulosic microfibres and nanofibres could hamper the current momentum in the direction of commercialization. Any attempt to loosen up the elementary fibres and sub-fibres before the mechanical process will be a step forward in the quest for energy efficient generation of cellulosic microfibres and nanofibres. In this research, we plan to present an approach that utilizes a selective enzymatic degradation step to loosen up the fibres for a less rigorous and energy efficient defibrillation methods.

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