Cellulose Nanocrystals (CNC)-Based Functional Materials for Supercapacitor Applications

Arulppan Durairaj, Moorthy Maruthapandi, Arumugam Saravanan, John H.T. Luong, Aharon Gedanken

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The growth of industrialization and the population has increased the usage of fossil fuels, resulting in the emission of large amounts of CO2. This serious environmental issue can be abated by using sustainable and environmentally friendly materials with promising novel and superior performance as an alternative to petroleum‐based plastics. Emerging nanomaterials derived from abundant natural resources have received considerable attention as candidates to replace petroleum‐based synthetic polymers. As renewable materials from biomass, cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) nanomaterials exhibit unique physicochemical properties, low cost, biocompatibility and biodegradability. Among a plethora of applications, CNCs have become proven nanomaterials for energy applications encompassing energy storage devices and supercapacitors. This review highlights the recent research contribution on novel CNC‐conductive materials and CNCs‐based nanocomposites, focusing on their synthesis, surface functionalization and potential applications as supercapacitors (SCs). The synthesis of CNCs encompasses various pretreatment steps including acid hydrolysis, mechanical exfoliation and enzymatic and combination processes from renewable carbon sources. For the widespread applications of CNCs, their derivatives such as carboxylated CNCs, aldehyde‐CNCs, hydride‐CNCs and sulfonated CNC‐based materials are more pertinent. The potential applications of CNCs‐conductive hybrid composites as SCs, critical technical issues and the future feasibility of this endeavor are highlighted. Discussion is also extended to the transformation of renewable and low‐attractive CNCs to conductive nanocomposites using green approaches. This review also addresses the key scientific achievements and industrial uses of nanoscale materials and composites for energy conversion and storage applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1828
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Supercapacitors
  • cellulose nanocrystal
  • conductive electrodes
  • energy storage
  • surface functionalization


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