Nanocellulose & Bio-nanocomposites
Nanofinishing of Cotton Textiles
Electrospinning of Biopolymers
ABOUT ICAR-CIRCOT NANOCELLULOSE PILOT PLANT...
ICAR-CIRCOT, established in 1924, has catered to the needs of the diverse stakeholders in the area of post-harvest processing of cotton and value addition to cotton biomass. ICAR-CIRCOT has taken the lead in the ICAR system to explore the applications of Nanotechnology in the fields of agriculture & cotton textiles. Nanotechnology has revolutionized material science, pharma, electronics and industrial chemistry in the past two decades. Now, it is spreading its wings in the field of agriculture & allied sectors. ICAR-CIRCOT, Mumbai ventured in Nanotechnology from 2004 onwards to impart novel functional finishes viz., antimicrobial and UV-protection to cotton fabrics using biologically synthesized silver nanoparticles and bio-chemically synthesized zinc oxide nanoparticles, respectively.
With the generous support from National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP) of ICAR, in 2008, Institute successfully attempted the preparation of nanocellulose from cotton linters and cotton wastes. Nanocellulose, a novel nano-sized cellulosic material exhibits very high strength, large surface area to volume ratio, novel rheological and optical properties. It has proven applications as (a) reinforcing agents in biocomposites, (b) additives in high-end papers & paints, (c) scratch resistant coating additives, (d) transparent display for electronics and (e) as carriers in drug delivery system. With four years of concerted efforts by multidisciplinary scientists, three novel energy-efficient protocols for production of nanocellulose namely, chemo-mechanical, bio-mechanical and microbial were evolved and patents were filed (one granted & two are in process). ICAR through NAIP, funded for establishment of nanocellulose pilot plant in ZTM-BPD project with a budget outlay of Rs. 400 lakhs. In the World, a few pilot plants are available that produces nanocellulose from wood pulp. ICAR-CIRCOT created a unique nanocellulose pilot plant that can produce nanocellulose (10 kg per day) from cotton linters, cotton wastes and bagasse and is first of its kind in India. Besides the production system, safety aspects, material handling and effluent management were also taken care of in the pilot plant lay-out.
Novel Properties of Nanocellulose
· High specific surface area : 50 to 200 m2 / g
· Highly crystalline : > 80%
· Tensile Strength : 1 to 10 GPa
· Young’s Modulus : 100 to 130 GPa
· Optically transparent and forms liquid crystals
· Novel rheological property
Methods of Preparation
· Chemical, Mechanical & Biological
· Chemo-mechanical & Bio-mechanical
· Cotton linters, Short staple cotton & Cotton wastes
· Agro biomass and Forest biomass
Potential activities of this pilot plant
· Demonstration / validation of production technology
· Incubation of entrepreneurs / industrialists
· Development of newer products.