6 potential future uses of nanocellulose – the ultimate ‘wonder material’

4) Bendable battery systems –

Nanocellulose_battery

*In our last point, we brought up the nanocellulose’s ability to conduct electricity. In that regard, we should make it clear that native cellulose in itself acts as an insulator. However, nanocellulose fibers can be endowed with conductive properties by coating them with a ultra-thin layer (around 50-nm) of conductive polymer, like polypyrrole. The resultant nanocomposite would still boast of high surface area – which in turn can be used for developing ultra-flexible energy storage devices that might even be paper-based. This surely opens up new and wonderful opportunities in the realm of mobile devices, and how they can be made significantly lighter by completely swapping the hefty battery.

5) Flexible electronic displays –

Nanocellulose_display

What are the ideal features for a contemporary display of an electronic device? The answer would be in the order of transparency, lightness and strength. Well, guess what – nanocellulose has all of these attributes, and more! Japan-based Pioneer Electronics has already plunged into the realm of development, and as a result we can very well see gossamer-like screen products with latent durability and sturdiness. And, since we are on the subject of electronic devices, IBM is looking forth to adapt the wood-based super-material for internal computer components.

6) Bio-fuel can be a by-product when ‘growing’ nanocellulose –

Nanocellulose_biofuel

Though not technically an application of the nanocellulose itself, but studies have clearly demonstrated that it is possible to both produce nanocellulose (from wooden fibers) and derive bio-fuel from the process. In fact, as per an experiment headed by Dr. Junyong Zhu, at the USDA Forest Products Laboratory, the hydrolyzed sugars from the procedure were easily transformed into ethanol (with remarkable efficiency of 91 percent) via the familiar effect of yeast fermentation.

Dr. R. Malcom Brown Jr. has also made his crucial researches in the field of the aforementioned blue green algae, and found out that it is feasible to create both bio-fuel and nanocellulose in a cheap manner. Moreover, the streamlined production process could also absorb carbon dioxide, one of the major contributors to the baleful scope of global warming.

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