Recent applications and innovations of cellulose based materials: A critical review

Tshwafo Elias Motaung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This review presents recent research on cellulosic materials and its latest uses, as well as scientific possibilities for more applications. Cellulose continues to display its advantages over synthetic fibers and its potential to replace fossil-based materials, which are known to harm ecosystems. Common attractive applications of cellulose include packaging, healthcare materials, electronics and printing. Most applications seem to rotate around the equilibrium of hydrophilicity, its mechanical properties and optical properties. Details on industrial applications, knowledge gaps and green innovations in cellulose conductivity, as well as limitations of its thermal degradation, are thoroughly covered. Most innovations are motivated by industrial needs, because renewability and inexpensiveness are the latest additional values to most industries. All common and innovative pretreatments are well summarized in this review. Furthermore, the paper provides interesting details on cellulose polymer composites, their applications and some recommendations for further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalCellulose Chemistry and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Applications
  • Cellulose
  • Innovations
  • Polymer composites


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