An insight into nanocellulose as soft condensed matter: Challenge and future prospective toward environmental sustainability

KhangWei Tan, SungKu Heo, MeiLing Foo, Irene MeiLeng Chew, ChangKyoo Yoo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Nanocellulose, a structural polysaccharide that has caught tremendous interests nowadays due to its renewability, inherent biocompatibility and biodegradability, abundance in resource, and environmental friendly nature. They are promising green nanomaterials derived from cellulosic biomass that can be disintegrated into cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) or cellulose nanocrystals (CNC), relying on their sensitivity to hydrolysis at the axial spacing of disordered domains. Owing to their unique mesoscopic characteristics at nanoscale, nanocellulose has been widely researched and incorporated as a reinforcement material in composite materials. The world has been consuming the natural resources at a much higher speed than the environment could regenerate. Today, as an uprising candidate in soft condensed matter physics, a growing interest was received owing to its unique self-assembly behaviour and quantum size effect in the formation of three-dimensional nanostructured material, could be utilised to address an increasing concern over global warming and environmental conservation. In spite of an emerging pool of knowledge on the nanocellulose downstream application, that was lacking of cross-disciplinary study of its role as a soft condensed matter for food, water and energy applications toward environmental sustainability. Here we aim to provide an insight for the latest development of cellulose nanotechnology arises from its fascinating physical and chemical characteristic for the interest of different technology holders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1309-1326
Number of pages18
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2019


  • Energy
  • Food
  • Nanocellulose
  • Soft condensed matter
  • Water

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