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