Modern society is now demanding “greener” materials due to depleting fossil fuels and increasing environmental awareness. In the near future, industries will need to become more resource-conscious by making greater use of available renewable and sustainable raw materials. In this context, agro-forestry and related industries can indeed contribute to solve many resource challenges for society and suppliers in the near future. Thus, cellulose can be predicted to become an important resource for materials due to its abundance and versatility as a biopolymer. Cellulose is found in many different forms and applications. However, the dissolution and regeneration of cellulose are key (and challenging) aspects in many potential applications. This chapter is divided into two parts: (i) achievements in the field of dissolution and regeneration of cellulose including solvents and underlying mechanisms of dissolution; and (ii) state-of-the-art production of value-added materials and their applications including manmade textile fibers, hydrogels, aerogels, and all-cellulose composites, where the latter is given special attention.
Part of the book: Cellulose
Bio-based compounds, such as “green” surfactants and phytochemicals, are regarded as future sustainable resources for a vast range of applications in a modern society increasingly demanding economical, social, and environmental awareness. Natural compounds from plants (phytochemicals) are very sought by the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industries. On the other hand, the growing interest in “green” surfactants (e.g., carbohydrate-based) is due to, inter alia, their preparation from renewable raw materials, ready biodegradability, and biocompatibility, among other reasons of fundamental, practical, economical, and environmental orders. Despite the wide range of potential applications of these bio-based compounds, their practical use is still limited due to many reasons such as poor aqueous solubility, volatility, reactivity, etc. Generally, when complexed with cyclodextrins, these bio-based compounds enhance considerably their performance and potential applications. Thus, this chapter aims at recalling some general fundamental aspects of phytochemicals and “green” surfactants, such as structure, function, and applications. In addition, their interactions with cyclodextrins are discussed from a physicochemical point of view with special focus on the techniques, mathematic modeling, and thermodynamic parameters (e.g., interactions, stoichiometries, association constants, etc.).
Part of the book: Cyclodextrin