Longer not stiffer: Targeting jute fibre quality

Jute is a phloem bast fibre crop grown for its fibres that are used in the manufacture of various goods. Due to its cheapness and biodegradable nature, jute is now in greater demand than other natural fibres. However, the fibre is short, making it hard to produce some jute products; moreover, the fibre is also stiffer than other plant fibres, […]

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Cellulose nanodefects: The key to biofuels and biomaterials of the future

Cellulase enzymes use defects as ‘stepping stones’ to initiate degradation of cellulose fibre.

Cellulose is a renewable polymer that can be used to produce biofuels and other bio-based materials. However, the potential of cellulose to displace petroleum-derived products had been limited by incomplete knowledge of its nanoscale characteristics. Recent research by Dr Peter Ciesielski and Dr Michael Crowley, both from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, has advanced our understanding of nanoscale defects that […]

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