Recent advancements, trends, fundamental challenges and opportunities in spray deposited cellulose nanofibril films for packaging applications

Humayun Nadeem, Muhammad Athar, Mostafa Dehghani, Gil Garnier, Warren Batchelor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Plastic packaging is causing a serious environmental concern owing to its difficulty in degrading and micro-particulates' emissions. Developing biodegradable films has gained research attention to overcome ecological and health issues associated with plastic based packaging. One alternative substitute for petroleum-based plastic is nanocellulose based films, having distinguishing characteristics such as biodegradability, renewability, and non-toxicity. Nanocellulose is classified into three major types, i.e., cellulose nanofibril, cellulose nanocrystals, and bacterial nanocellulose. However, the scope of this review is limited to cellulose nanofibril (CNF) because this is the only one of major types that could be turned into film at a competitive cost with petroleum derived polymers. This paper provides a concise insight on the current trends and production methods of CNF. Additionally, the methods for transforming CNF into films are also discussed in this review. However, the focus of this review is the CNF films produced via spray deposition, their properties and applications, and fundamental challenges associated with their commercialization. Spray deposition or spray coating is an ideal candidate as a large-scale production technique of CNF films due to its remarkable features such as rapidity, flexibility, and continuity. Spray deposited CNF films exhibit excellent mechanical properties and oxygen barrier performance, while, possessing limited moisture barrier performance. The possible pathways to improve the moisture barrier performance and optical properties of these films are also discussed in this review. The existing publications on spray deposited CNF films are also highlighted from the literature. Finally, the current status of industrial production of these films and opportunities for academics and industries are also presented, indicating that fibre production capacity needs to be enhanced.

Original languageEnglish
Article number155654
Number of pages19
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2022


  • Cellulose nanofibril
  • Fundamental challenges
  • Packaging
  • Recycling
  • Spray deposition

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