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Stabilization of Pickering emulsions with cellulose nanofibers derived from oil palm fruit bunch

  • Xia Li
  • Jun LiEmail author
  • Yishan Kuang
  • Shasha Guo
  • Lihuan Mo
  • Yonghao NiEmail author
Original Research


Converting oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB) to high value-added products can contribute to sustainable development by decreasing solid waste. In this paper, cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) were prepared from OPEFB by following the processes of soda pulping, bleaching, 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl (TEMPO) oxidation, and high-pressure homogenization. Subsequently, the as-prepared CNFs were studied for their potential to stabilize Pickering emulsions. TEM results showed that the as-prepared individual CNFs were 4 nm in width and a few microns in length. Stable Pickering emulsions occurred at 2% CNF dosage, with emulsion droplet of 10 μm in terms of volume mean diameter, D [4, 3]. SEM results supported the presence of CNFs at the O/W interfaces, and CNF networks between the emulsion droplets. The effect of salt concentrations on the emulsion performance was further studied, showing that the conversion of emulsions to gels occurs at a salt concentration of 50 mM or higher.


Oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB) CNFs Pickering emulsion Salt concentration 



The Financial support of Canada Research Chairs Program of the Government of Canada, South China University of Technology Doctoral Students Overseas Short-term Visiting Program, Guangzhou Science & Technology Plan Projects (No. 201707020011), the 111 plan and Guangdong Provincial Science & Technology Plan project (No. 2015B020241001), State Key Laboratory of Pulp and Paper Engineering (No. 201831), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 2017MS080), Guangdong Provincial Natural Science Foundation Project (No. 2018A030313211), Guangdong Province Science Foundation for Cultivating National Engineering Research Center for Efficient Utilization of Plant Fibers (No. 2017B090903003), the Special Support Plan for High-level Talent Cultivation of Guangdong Province (No. 2014TQ01N603) are greatly appreciated.

Supplementary material

10570_2019_2803_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1124 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Pulp and Paper EngineeringSouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Chemical Engineering, Limerick Pulp and Paper CentreUniversity of New BrunswickFrederictonCanada

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