Preparation and analysis of cellulose pfa composites: A critical review

Nduduzo L. Khumalo, Samson M. Mohomane, Setumo V. Motloung, Lehlohonolo F. Koao, Malevu D. Thembinkosi, Tshwafo E. Motaung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Many researchers have studied ways to convert various agricultural by-products into useful eco-friendly polymer composites due to the demand for sustainable production. Poly(furfuryl) alcohol (PFA) seems to be one of the emerging eco-friendly polymers, particularly when impregnated with cellulose. Cellulose is the most abundant biopolymer and organic compound on earth, extracted from a variety of materials, such as plants, animals (tunicates), algae and bacteria. Nanocrystalline cellulose serves as elementary “building blocks”, with properties such as uniformity and durability, which are critical for second-generation cellulose-based products and their engineering applications. This review focuses on the latest research on PFA reinforced with cellulose nanowhiskers. The most commonly used method to prepare composites is in-situ polymerization, which yields cellulose PFA composites with a significant increase in thermal stability and mechanical properties. The viscoelastic properties of cellulose PFA nanocomposites were also proven to enhance, in terms of storage modulus and flexural strength, with a reduction in the energy loss, evident by the intensity of the tan δ peaks. Critical milestones that still need to be achieved by researchers are clearly outlined in the review. Also, solid recommendations in terms of interrupting polymer composites markets using PFA composites are made.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-309
Number of pages11
JournalCellulose Chemistry and Technology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • Cellulose
  • Nanocomposites
  • Poly(furfuryl alcohol)


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