, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 3735–3745 | Cite as

High-yield preparation of cellulose nanofiber by small quantity acid assisted milling in glycerol

  • Yingzhao Lu
  • Juan Yu
  • Jinxia Ma
  • Zhiguo WangEmail author
  • Yimin FanEmail author
  • Xiaofan Zhou
Original Research


A method was developed for the high-yield preparation of cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) using glycerol and a small quantity of sulfuric acid with a colloid milling mechanical dispersion. The glycerol together with a small quantity of sulfuric acid was employed to break hydrogen bonds between cellulose fibrils, after which the excessively swelled cellulose bundles could be easily disassembled to nanosize by a simple mechanical treatment. Reaction conditions, including the amount of sulfuric acid, the temperature and the preferred acid treatment time, were optimized to be 0.64% w/w sulfuric acid (based on the whole reaction system), 100 °C and 2 h respectively. Under the optimized conditions, CNFs with a width less than 100 nm and a length of several microns were obtained from various raw materials with high yield (above 85%), high crystallinity and an average degrees of polymerization (DPv) of 200.

Graphical abstract


Cellulose nanofiber Glycerol swelling Small quantity acid treatment High yield 



We are grateful for financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31870565) as well as project funding from the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20181397).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jiangsu Co-Innovation Center of Efficient Processing and Utilization of Forest Resources, College of Light Industry and Food Engineering, College of Chemical EngineeringNanjing Forestry UniversityNanjingChina

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