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A novel approach of adhesive property of cellulose nanofibers obtained from the discarded wooden part of Kozo plant

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Reducing the amount of industrial crop waste and converting it into high value-added products in a sustainable manner will not only promote the use of biological resources but will also help in reducing the environmental impact. Bast fibers of Kozo (Broussonetia kazinoki) are a raw material of traditional Japanese paper, known as “Washi.” However, the wood part of this plant is not used for Washi and is discarded. The aim of this study was to find a new future use for the wood parts of the plant. The first step was to confirm whether the wooden part of Kozo could be converted into cellulose nanofibers (CNFs). CNFs made from bast fiber alone and from bast fiber that included the outer bark were prepared as samples for comparison. Subsequently, the morphological and chemical structures of the raw materials, wood powder, pulp, and CNFs from each sample were analyzed. Consequently, we found that CNFs made from wooden parts have a chemical structure similar to that of the bast fiber, which is the raw material of Washi; however, it is the thinnest CNF of all those investigated. In addition, the CNF solution prepared from wooden parts adjusted to a 0.5-wt% concentration showed the highest viscosity characteristics and also the highest adhesive strength when applied to Japanese paper. These results indicate that waste wood parts have potential applications as chemical-free thickeners, adhesives, and restorative materials.

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The authors would like to acknowledge Mr. Shinji Hayashi at the Kurotani Washi Cooperative Association, Japan, which supplied the valuable raw material used in this study.


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Correspondence to Chieko Narita.

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Narita, C., Okahisa, Y. & Yamada, K. A novel approach of adhesive property of cellulose nanofibers obtained from the discarded wooden part of Kozo plant. Appl Nanosci 11, 2717–2726 (2021).

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