Among the components of bio-nanocomposites, the nanometer sized biofillers from biomass show unique advantages over traditional inorganic nanoparticles by virtue of their biodegradability and biocompatibility. Currently, biomass-based nanofillers include the rod-like whiskers of cellulose and chitin, the platelet-like nanocrystals of starch, the self-organized nanophase of supramolecular lignin complexes, and many artificial nanofillers derived from biomass. Biofillers that do not have a cellulose origin are defined as noncellulosic biofillers. Besides the inherent biodegradability and biocompatibility of biomass-based polymers, these nanometer sized noncellulosic biofillers have the following predominant advantages over inorganic nanoparticles: (1) Biofiller materials are abundant, renewable, and easily available; (2) Application of the biofiller can improve the bioeconomy; (3) The as-prepared biofillers are low density, and thus can not severely increase, and may even decrease, the specific gravity of nanocomposites; (4) Biofillers have high specific strength and modulus, i.e. high rigidity, that contribute a reinforcing function; (5) Biofillers have comparatively easy processability due to their nonabrasive nature, which allows high fill levels and hence a significant cost savings; (6) The relatively reactive surface of biofillers, covered with many hydroxyl groups, provides a great opportunity for chemical modification and grafting; (7) Recycling by combustion of noncellulosic biofiller-filled composites is easier in comparison with inorganic filler systems; (8) The self-organized arrangement of biofillers in nanocomposites may regulate electronic, optical, magnetic, and superconductive properties. As a result, the possibility of using noncellulosic biofillers in bio-nanocomposites has received considerable interest.
Keywords: biofillers; cellulose; bioeconomy; chemical modification; grafting; inorganic filler
Chapter. 13189 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: Condensed Matter Physics
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