Cellulose Chemistry: Wet Esterification of Cellulose for the Sustainable Production of Cellulose Nanofibers

In a cooperation of three departments, BOKU researchers have for the first time developed a process for the esterification of cellulose in an aqueous medium, thus enabling a resource-saving production of cellulose nanofibres while avoiding the organic solvents previously required. The method, which attracted great interest internationally, was published in the renowned journal "Green Chemistry".

A new energy and resource-saving method for the chemical modification of cellulose has been developed at the Institute of Chemistry of Renewable Resources. Whereas organic solvents have always been necessary for the esterification of celluloses and nanocelluloses up to now, the novel method now enables for the first time a chemical modification in an aqueous medium and thus the sustainable production of cellulose nanofibres, which meets the Green Chemistry criteria. The publication was consequently published in the renowned journal Green Chemistry. The project by Dr. Marco Beaumont, under the direction of Prof. Thomas Rosenau and Prof. Antje Potthast, was carried out in close cooperation with Dr. Stefan Veigel and Prof. Wolfgang Gindl-Altmutter from the Institute of Wood Technology and Renewable Resources and Prof. Norbert Mundigler from the Institute of Natural Materials Technology within the framework of the Austrian Biorefinery Center Tulln (ABCT).

Dr. Marco Beaumont is currently an Erwin-Schrödinger fellow at the Institute of Chemistry for Renewable Resources (BOKU) and the School of Chemistry and Physics at Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane, Australia). In his research, he works on the development of new chemical tools for sustainable production of functional nanocelluloses. These materials are applied, for instance, in the development of multifunctional and biocompatible cellulose inks, within the FWF project “5D Click Printing”.


More information can be found here: https://pubs.rsc.org/no/content/articlehtml/2020/gc/d0gc02116d