Nanocellulose in Emulsions and Heterogeneous Water-Based Polymer Systems: A Review
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Nanocelluloses (i.e., bacterial nanocellulose, cellulose nanocrystals, and cellulose nanofibrils) are cellulose-based materials with at least one dimension in the nanoscale. These materials have unique and useful properties and have been shown to assemble at oil-water interfaces and impart new functionality to emulsion and latex systems. Herein, the use of nanocellulose in both emulsions and heterogeneous water-based polymers is reviewed, including dispersion, suspension, and emulsion polymerization. Comprehensive tables describe past work employing nanocellulose as stabilizers or additives and the properties that can be tailored through the use of nanocellulose are highlighted. Even at low loadings, nanocellulose offers an unprecedented level of control as a property modifier for a range of emulsion and polymer applications, influencing, for example, emulsion type, stability, and stimuli-responsive behavior. Nanocellulose can tune polymer particle properties such as size, surface charge, and morphology, or be used to produce capsules and polymer nanocomposites with enhanced mechanical, thermal, and adhesive properties. The role of nanocellulose is discussed, and a perspective for future direction is presented.
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