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CSIR Articles : Understanding our natural resources at the nano-scale for improved utilisation

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24 July, 2012

Understanding our natural resources at the nano-scale for improved utilisation

Understanding the complex biological ultrastructure of our natural resources at the nano-scale is fundamental to improve pulping processes, augment product development, problem solve and enhance fibre utilisation. A suite of sample preparation and microscopy techniques have recently been optimised and applied to wood and pulp fibres of Eucalyptus species. These techniques include transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM). The Forestry and Forests Products (FFP) research centre presently boasts new sample preparation instrumentation to perform microscopy analyses on a variety of natural fibres. Sample preparation expertise in solvent and cryo methods has also been established within the centre. The application of the presently optimised protocols to various natural fibres could potentially open several avenues in cellulose research.

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