, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 843–853 | Cite as

Cellulosic nanoparticles from alfa fibers (Stipa tenacissima): extraction procedures and reinforcement potential in polymer nanocomposites

  • Ayman Ben Mabrouk
  • Hamid Kaddami
  • Sami Boufi
  • Fouad Erchiqui
  • Alain Dufresne


The microstructure and chemical composition of alfa (Stipa tenacissima) were investigated. The polysaccharide and lignin contents were around 70 and 20 wt%, respectively. From the bleached and delignified fibers, two types of nanosized cellulosic particles were extracted, namely cellulose nanocrystals and microfibrillated cellulose (MFC). The former correspond typically to the elementary crystallite units of the cellulose fibers, with a rod-like morphology and an aspect ratio of about 20. The latter, mechanically disintegrated from oxidized bleached fibres, presents an entangled fibrillar structure with widths in the range 5-20 nm. The reinforcing potential of the ensuing nanoparticles was investigated by casting a mixture of acrylic latex and aqueous dispersion of cellulose nanoparticles. Thermo-mechanical analysis revealed a huge enhancement of the stiffness above the glass transition of the matrix. Significant differences in the mechanical reinforcing capability of the nanoparticles were reported.


Alfa Structure Nanocrystals Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) Nanocomposites 



The authors thank for their financial support Hassan II Academy of Sciences and Techniques, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Corus program 6046), the PHC-UTIQUE (Grant 11/G 1115) and the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ayman Ben Mabrouk
    • 1
  • Hamid Kaddami
    • 2
  • Sami Boufi
    • 1
  • Fouad Erchiqui
    • 3
  • Alain Dufresne
    • 4
  1. 1.Laboratoire Sciences des Matériaux et Environnement, LMSEUniversity of SfaxSfaxTunisia
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Chimie Organométallique et Macromoléculaire - Matériaux CompositesCadi Ayyad University, Faculty of Sciences and Technologies of MarrakeshMarrakeshMorocco
  3. 3.Laboratoire de Plasturgie et NanocompositesUniversité de Québec en Abitibi-Témiscaminque, Boulevard de l’UniversitéRouyn-NorandaCanada
  4. 4.The International School of Paper, Print Media and Biomaterials (Pagora)Grenoble Institut of TechnologySaint Martin d’Hères CedexFrance

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