, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 269–280 | Cite as

Mechanical and chemical dispersion of nanocelluloses to improve their reinforcing effect on recycled paper

  • Cristina Campano
  • Noemí Merayo
  • Ana Balea
  • Quim Tarrés
  • Marc Delgado-Aguilar
  • Pere Mutjé
  • Carlos Negro
  • Ángeles Blanco
Original Paper


The use of nanocelluloses as strength-enhancing additives in papermaking is widely known since both cellulose nanofibers (CNF) and nanocrystals (CNC) present similar composition than paper but their exceptional properties in the nanometer scale confers a paper quality enhancement. However, some agglomeration problems in CNF and CNC through hydrogen bonding cause a lower improvement of mechanical properties of paper. Therefore, a better dispersion of both nanocelluloses can maximize their effect on paper properties, thus reducing the needed dose to get the same increment in tensile strength and then reducing material costs. To ease the implementation of these nanocelluloses in the production process of recycled paper, typically used operations of these industries have been used. Among them, those devoted to improve the homogeneous mixture of nanocellulose in the pulp suspension have been assessed. Firstly, pulping conditions were studied, including pulping time, temperature and need for soaking as variables. Secondly, some dispersing agents used in papermaking were considered, studying the effect of different types and doses. The highest tensile strength of paper was achieved by applying long pulping times (60 min), getting increments up to 30% with the use of soaking and polyacrylamide as retention system. However, with the use of a low dose of a dispersing agent (0.003%), tensile index can be still increased up to 20.6% avoiding these long times. This study can be of great interest of those researchers trying to implement the use of nanocelluloses as strength additive in papermaking.


Reinforcement Cellulose nanofibers Cellulose nanocrystals Dispersion Strength Recycled paper 



The authors wish to thank the Economy and Competitiveness Ministry of Spain for the support of the project with reference CTQ2013-48090-C2-1-R and the Grant of C. Campano (BES-2014-068177).


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringComplutense University of MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Group LEPAMAP, Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of GironaGironaSpain

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