, Volume 26, Issue 10, pp 6275–6289 | Cite as

Hairy cationic nanocrystalline cellulose as retention additive in recycled paper

  • Cristina Campano
  • Patricio Lopez-Exposito
  • Angeles BlancoEmail author
  • Carlos Negro
  • Theo G. M. van de Ven
Original Research


Hairy cellulose nanocrystalloids (HNC) are a brand new family of nanocellulose characterized by having functionalized amorphous poles joined by a crystalline shaft. In this paper we hypothesize that cationic HNC (CNCC) could be used as an effective retention agent in papermaking. To investigate this, we first flocculated a suspension of only fillers, namely kaolinite and CaCO3, and second, a suspension of recycled fibers, with CNCC. It was monitored by photometric dispersion analysis and laser focused beam reflectance. The flocculation mechanism was assessed by means of zeta potential, reflocculation efficiency, flocculation stability and optical microscopy. Finally, the effect of CNCC on drainage, retention and paper mechanical properties was studied. CNCC were found to heteroflocculate fillers at a wide range of dosages, finding a maximum floc size at a dosage of 30 mg/g. On the other hand, the maximum floc size when flocculating the pulp suspension, was found at a lower CNCC dosage (20 mg/g). In this case, fillers were being attached to the exterior surface of the fibers. In both systems, the maximum size increment was observed at the isoelectric point, so a charge neutralization mechanism was proposed. The addition of CNCC not only improved filler retention, but also pulp drainage by reducing these times. Moreover, although mechanical properties of the handsheets were affected by the presence of CNCC, this effect was much lighter than that caused by traditionally used retention systems. Hence, CNCC could replace many additives used in the wet-end of a paper machine, thus simplifying its operation.

Graphical abstract


Hairy cationic nanocrystalline cellulose Recycled paper Retention system Fillers flocculation Drainage and retention Fibers flocculation 



Authors thank the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness for the funding of the projects (Ref. CTQ2013-48090-C2-1-R and CTQ2017-85654-C2-2-R), the grant of C. Campano (BES-2014-068177) and the mobility funding (EEBB-I-17-12595); and the Community of Madrid for funding the RETO-PROSOST-CM (S2013/MAE-2907). Theo van de Ven acknowledges support of a NSERC Discovery grant (42686-13).


  1. Balea A, Blanco A, Merayo N, Negro C (2016a) Effect of nanofibrillated cellulose to reduce linting on high filler-loaded recycled papers. Appita J 69:148–156Google Scholar
  2. Balea A, Merayo N, Fuente E, Delgado-Aguilar M, Mutje P, Blanco A, Negro C (2016b) Valorization of corn stalk by the production of cellulose nanofibers to improve recycled paper properties. BioResources 11:3416–3431Google Scholar
  3. Bergaya F, Lagaly G (2006) General introduction: clays, clay minerals, and clay science. Dev Clay Sci 1:1–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Blanco A, Negro C, Hooimeijer A, Tijero J (1996) Polymer optimization in paper mills by means of a particle size analyser: an alternative to zeta potential measurements. Appita J 49:113–116Google Scholar
  5. Blanco A, De la Fuente E, Negro C, Monte MC, Tijero J (2002) Focused beam reflectant measurement as a tool to measure flocculation. Tappi J 1:14–20Google Scholar
  6. Blanco A, Miranda R, Monte MC (2013) Extending the limits of paper recycling: improvements along the paper value chain. For Syst 22:471–483. Google Scholar
  7. Campano C et al (2018a) Mechanical and chemical dispersion of nanocelluloses to improve their reinforcing effect on recycled paper. Cellulose 25:269–280. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Campano C, Merayo N, Negro C, Blanco A (2018b) In situ production of bacterial cellulose to economically improve recycled paper properties. Int J Biol Macromol 118:1532–1541. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chen DZ, van de Ven TGM (2016a) Flocculation kinetics of precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) with sterically stabilized nanocrystalline cellulose (SNCC). Colloid Surf A-Physicochem Eng Asp 506:789–793. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chen DZ, van de Ven TGM (2016b) Flocculation kinetics of precipitated calcium carbonate induced by electrosterically stabilized nanocrystalline cellulose. Colloid Surf A-Physicochem Eng Asp 504:11–17. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Delgado-Aguilar M, Gonzalez I, Pelach MA, De La Fuente E, Negro C, Mutje P (2015) Improvement of deinked old newspaper/old magazine pulp suspensions by means of nanofibrillated cellulose addition. Cellulose 22:789–802. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Diab M, Curtil D, El-shinnawy N, Hassan ML, Zeid IF, Mauret E (2015) Biobased polymers and cationic micro-fibrillated cellulose as retention and drainage aids in papermaking: comparison between softwood and bagasse pulps. Ind Crop Prod 72:34–45. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Habibi Y (2014) Key advances in the chemical modification of nanocelluloses. Chem Soc Rev 43:1519–1542. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Habibi Y, Lucia LA, Rojas OJ (2010) Cellulose nanocrystals: chemistry, self-assembly, and applications. Chem Rev 110:3479–3500. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hassan EA, Hassan ML, Oksman K (2011) Improving bagasse pulp paper sheet properties with microfibrillated cellulose isolated from xylanase-treated bagasse. Wood Fiber Sci 43:76–82Google Scholar
  16. Hubbe MA, Venditti RA, Rojas OJ (2007) What happens to cellulosic fibers during papermaking and recycling? A review. BioResources 2:739–788Google Scholar
  17. Kumar V, Taylor MK, Mehrotra A, Stagner WC (2013) Real-time particle size analysis using focused beam reflectance measurement as a process analytical technology tool for a continuous granulation-drying-milling process. AAPS PharmSciTech 14:523–530. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lourenco AF, Gamelas JAF, Ferreira PJ (2014) Increase of the filler content in papermaking by using a silica-coated PCC filler. Nord Pulp Paper Res J 29:240–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Merayo N, Balea A, de la Fuente E, Blanco Á, Negro C (2017a) Interactions between cellulose nanofibers and retention systems in flocculation of recycled fibers. Cellulose 24:677–692. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Merayo N, Balea A, de la Fuente E, Blanco Á, Negro C (2017b) Synergies between cellulose nanofibers and retention additives to improve recycled paper properties and the drainage process. Cellulose 24:2987–3000CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Miranda R, Blanco Á (2010) Environmental awareness and paper recycling. Cellul Chem Technol 44:431–449Google Scholar
  22. Rasteiro M, Garcia F, Ferreira P, Blanco A, Negro C, Antunes E (2008) Evaluation of flocs resistance and reflocculation capacity using the LDS technique. Powder Tecnol 183:231–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Raymond L, Turcotte R, Gratton R (2004) The challenges of increasing filler in fine paper. Pap Technol 45:34–40Google Scholar
  24. Taipale T, Osterberg M, Nykanen A, Ruokolainen J, Laine J (2010) Effect of microfibrillated cellulose and fines on the drainage of kraft pulp suspension and paper strength. Cellulose 17:1005–1020. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Terbojevich M, Cosani A, Conio G, Marsano E, Bianchi E (1991) Chitosan: chain rigidity and mesophase formation. Carbohydr Res 209:251–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. van de Ven TGM, Sheikhi A (2016) Hairy cellulose nanocrystalloids: a novel class of nanocellulose. Nanoscale 8:15101–15114. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Wu MR, van de Ven TGM (2009) Flocculation and reflocculation: interplay between the adsorption behavior of the components of a dual flocculant. Colloid Surf A-Physicochem Eng Asp 341:40–45. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Yang H, van de Ven TGM (2016) Preparation of hairy cationic nanocrystalline cellulose. Cellulose 23:1791–1801. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Yang H, Alam MN, van de Ven TGM (2013) Highly charged nanocrystalline cellulose and dicarboxylated cellulose from periodate and chlorite oxidized cellulose fibers. Cellulose 20:1865–1875. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Yoon SY, Deng YL (2004) Flocculation and reflocculation of clay suspension by different polymer systems under turbulent conditions. J Colloid Interface Sci 278:139–145. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Yousefi H, Faezipour M, Hedjazi S, Mousavi MM, Azusa Y, Heidari AH (2013) Comparative study of paper and nanopaper properties prepared from bacterial cellulose nanofibers and fibers/ground cellulose nanofibers of canola straw. Ind Crop Prod 43:732–737. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringComplutense University of MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry, Pulp and Paper Research Centre, and Quebec Centre for Advances MaterialsMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations