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All-cellulose composites via short-fiber dispersion approach using NaOH–water solvent

  • Oona Korhonen
  • Daisuke Sawada
  • Tatiana BudtovaEmail author
Original Research


All-cellulose composites were prepared by dispersing short softwood kraft fibers in dissolving pulp-8 wt% NaOH–water. The degree of polymerization of the dissolving pulp used for the matrix and the concentration of reinforcing fibers were varied. Morphology, density, crystallinity, cellulose I content and mechanical properties of the composites were investigated. A special attention was paid on the presence of non-dissolved fibers originating from incomplete dissolution of pulp in 8 wt% NaOH–water thus decreasing the actual concentration of dissolved cellulose in matrix solution. This “lack of matter” induced the formation of pores, which strongly influenced the morphology of composites. Density was shown to be the main parameter contributing to the mechanical properties of the prepared all-cellulose composites. The results demonstrate the complexity of the system and the need in taking into account the dissolution power of the solvent.

Graphical abstract

Morphology of all-cellulose composites: matrix is from low-DP dissolving pulp (a) and from high-DP pulp (b).


All-cellulose composites NaOH Dissolution Density Mechanical properties 



The financial support from Business Finland (Grant No. 3848/31/201), Stora Enso Oyj and UPM-Kymmene Oyj is gratefully acknowledged. Authors also want to thank to Separation Research Oy Ab and Fibertus Oy for collaboration; Herbert Sixta, Mark Hughes and Michael Hummel (Aalto University) for fruitful discussions, Suzanne Jacomet (CEMEF, MINES ParisTech) for assistance with SEM, Rita Hatakka (Aalto University) for help with pulp composition determinations as well as Hannu Revitzer (Aalto University) for elemental analysis. We thank Dr. Isabelle Morfin (ESRF) for assistance at the D2AM beam line, and ESRF (Grenoble, France) for the provision of beam time. At the D2AM beam line, the WAXS Open for SAXS detector (WOS) was funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR) under the “Investissements d’avenir” program (Grant No. ANR-11-EQPX-0010).

Supplementary material

10570_2019_2422_MOESM1_ESM.docx (823 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 823 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oona Korhonen
    • 1
  • Daisuke Sawada
    • 1
  • Tatiana Budtova
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, School of Chemical EngineeringAalto UniversityAalto, EspooFinland
  2. 2.CEMEF – Center for Materials Forming, UMR CNRS 7635MINES ParisTech, PSL Research UniversitySophia AntipolisFrance

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