Analysis of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) with flow cytometry

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Anders Strand, Lari Vähäsalo, Elias Retulainen, Anna Sundberg
Publisher: Springer
Publication year: 2018
Journal: Cellulose
Volume number: 22


Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) were prepared from kraft pulps of
eucalyptus, birch, and softwood. The different kraft pulps were
hydrolyzed using strong sulfuric acid in order to obtain colloidally
stable CNCs. The CNCs were studied using flow cytometry (FCM). The light
scattering properties of the CNCs in side direction and forward
direction were documented. The use of a selective staining agent in
combination with FCM analysis enabled detection of the hydrophobic
particle populations within the CNC suspensions. The hydrophobic
particles were seen clearly in the CNCs from the eucalyptus and birch
kraft pulps, but not in the CNCs from softwood pulp. These particles
were shown to be linked with the content of lipophilic extractives,
especially sterols, present in the kraft pulps. From this fact, it was
concluded that FCM analyses offer useful information about the
properties of CNCs in suspension. It was also concluded that the content
of lipophilic extractives in different raw materials should be
determined and considered prior to CNC production. Pre-extraction steps
might be needed in order to produce high-quality CNCs from various raw
materials, even from kraft pulps.


Cellulose, CNC, colloids, Flow cytometry, Hydrophobicity, Light scattering, Lipophilic extractives


Last updated on 2019-18-01 at 04:40