Improving Cellulose NanocrystalPerformance through Understanding of Thermal and Colloidal Stability

Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) are natural bio-based nanoparticles that can be used to modify the viscosity and improve the performance of various fluids. For this reason, they are of interest to the oil and gas industry, where they can replace other expensive and non-biodegradable polymers that are commonly used. CNCs must first be modified so that they do not degrade or settle at high temperatures and pressures. To accomplish this, CNCs will be extracted from cotton using a variety of methods or by post-modifying the nanoparticle surface to have new chemical groups and new functionality. The produced CNCs will be subjected to high temperatures and pressures and their properties will be measured before and after heat treatment. It is hypothesized that by altering the amount and type of surface groups on the CNCs, the stability of these nanoparticles at high temperatures can be maintained.

Faculty Supervisor:

Emily Cranston


Oriana Vanderfleet



Engineering - chemical / biological





Current openings

Find the perfect opportunity to put your academic skills and knowledge into practice!

Find Projects