Surface Engineering of Cellulose Nanocrystals for Sustainable Bioproduct Development

Surface Engineering of Cellulose Nanocrystals for Sustainable Bioproduct Development

Virtual Webinar
Tuesday, April 09, 2024 to Tuesday, April 09, 2024

12PM - 1PM (ET)

By learning from nature and using bio-based building blocks we can engineer sustainable high-performance materials with improved functionality. Nanocelluloses have entered the marketplace as new ingredients for formulated chemical products, composites and engineering processing technologies. Although cellulose is the most abundant natural substance on earth, nanocelluloses are anything but common – they possess exceptionally high mechanical strength and align in electromagnetic fields; they are more chemically, colloidally and thermally stable than most bio-based materials; they exhibit unique optical and self-assembly properties, all while retaining the non-toxicity and biodegradability of cellulose. My research group aims to bridge the gap between industrial nanocellulose producers, R&D, and potential end users by exploring fundamentals. In this talk, I will highlight my group’s contributions in the areas of: benchmarking commercial cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and characterization method development; CNC-stabilized emulsions and latexes for applications in cosmetics, food, paints, coatings and adhesives; and CNC-templated energy storage and production devices. Overall, we believe that this improved understanding of CNCs and how to control their assembly is crucial for the commercialization of greener next-generation technologies.

Who Should Attend: 

  • Graduate Students
  •  R&D related to biopolymers and nanotechnology

Learning Outcomes: 

  • Describe the basic advantages of using cellulose nanocrystals in a range of applications
  • Select appropriate characterization tools and surface modification methods for cellulose nanocrystals

Emily Cranston

Emily D. Cranston is a Professor in Wood Science and Chemical & Biological Engineering at the University of British Columbia and is the President’s Excellence Chair in Forest Bio-products. Prior to January 2019, she was an Associate Professor at McMaster University and the Canada Research Chair in Bio-Based Nanomaterials (Tier 2). Emily’s research focuses on sustainable hybrid materials from cellulose and other biopolymers. Her academic path began at McGill University where she received her BSc in Chemistry and a PhD in Materials Chemistry. The study of value-added products from cellulose took her to Stockholm, Sweden as a postdoctoral researcher at KTH Royal Institute of Technology before she returned to Canada in 2011. Emily is the recipient of the 2017 KINGFA Young Investigator’s Award from the ACS Cellulose & Renewable Materials division, was the 2018 ACS – Kavli Foundation Emerging Leader in Chemistry Lecturer, was a NSERC E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellow (2021-2024) and is a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars. She was the TAPPI Nano division vice-chair from 2014-2020 and received the TAPPI Nanotechnology Technical Award (2021) and Service & Leadership Award (2023).  


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