The Global Scope of Cellulose Nanofiber Research Revealed

Due to its remarkable mechanical and physical properties, cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) have gained prominence in a variety of sectors in recent years. A study published in the journal Materials Today: Proceedings provides a comprehensive bibliometric analysis of research papers published on cellulose nanofibers (CNFs).

The Global Scope of Cellulose Nanofiber Research Revealed

Study: Cellulose nanofiber for sustainable production: A bibliometric analysis. Image Credit: Marco Lazzarini/

What is Bibliometric Analysis?

Bibliometric analysis is described as quantitative research of published scientific papers, textbooks, or journal articles, and it is an effective method of measuring the impact of publishing in the scientific world.

It can also be used to assess beneficial contributions to a specific study subject by distinguishing the most frequently referenced items, researchers, organizations, and countries.

The Scopus dataset was employed in this study to investigate the critical CNF publications since it is one of the most popular academic resources with original citation sources and generally contains peer-reviewed content.

Access methods, dates, author information, topic categories, subject area, source labels, keywords, associations, nations, and source categories are all available in the Scopus database. The authors used this information to establish the significance, applicability, and scientific contributions to cellulose nanofiber research.

Importance of Cellulose Nanofiber (CNF)

With the sudden increase in the production and manufacturing industries, environmental preservation has become a significant concern worldwide. As a consequence, current industry trends and academic research emphasize the growing need for disposable natural raw materials. Cellulose, found in wood fibers such as cotton, palm, and flax, is one of the most readily accessible organic molecules.

Cellulose nanofiber (CNF) is an advanced organic nano-scale material with excellent biomechanical properties. It has a high yield strength, large aspect ratio, good thermal stability, and strong barrier strength, allowing it to tolerate permanent deformation. CNF, in addition to having a minimal environmental impact, is also incredibly inexpensive and compact. It has several uses in biomedical sectors, such as dressing materials, adhesives, and drug delivery systems.

Applications of CNF as Nanocomposites and Gas Barrier Films

CNF can mechanically strengthen thermosets and thermoplastic elastomers in addition to serving as nanocomposites owing to its high specific strength, aspect ratio, and toughness. Including CNF as nanocomposites for adherence in fiber-reinforced materials such as epoxy resins can improve hydrophobic characteristics. Several studies included in the Scopus and Web of Science (WoS) directories have also highlighted the importance of CNF in nanocomposites.

Gas barrier films are used in food processing and preservation to prevent air circulation and keep food healthy. CNF can be used as biodegradable composite sheets due to its strong oxygen barrier qualities and minimal expansion coefficient. The key component to CNF's gas barrier feature is its crystallinity of more than 40%. The oxygen penetration of CNF could be reduced by further treatment such as filtration, heat pressing, and air drying.

Contributions of CNF in Material Sciences

CNF coatings and paints block UV radiation and air better than acrylic resins, giving them a larger ability to inhibit radical production, such as discoloration and cracking. CNF can also be used in electrical circuits to disrupt water penetration, resulting in short circuits. Even if the exterior seals fail and water penetrates the circuit, this layer prevents the electrical circuit.

CNF's thermal durability makes it an excellent contender for usage in electrical equipment. CNF improves printing quality and makes electrical products more conductive due to its low permeability and rugosity.

Cellulose nanofibers with excellent dielectric characteristics and flat surfaces have promising applications in solar panels, detectors, smart optics, optoelectronic devices, and transparent electrodes.

Key Findings of Bibliometric Analysis on Cellulose Nanofiber

Based on their extensive bibliometric investigation, the researchers determined that publications on CNF have steadily increased in the Scopus database over the years. Because of the industry's continued perception of CNF's usefulness, it is projected that the number of research studies produced in 2022 will surpass the entire number of articles published in 2021.

From 2004 to 2022, China, Japan, and the United States published the most literature on CNF. China received the most interest with greater overall citations and Sweden received the most citations per piece. The majority of publications were published in materials science, biochemistry, and engineering journals, indicating that CNF is gaining popularity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Many studies included keywords like mechanical characteristics and thermal performance, implying that researchers are working on improving CNF qualities to maximize advantages for applications in biological sciences, manufacturing, electronics, construction, and packaging.


Lam, W. S. et al. (2022). Cellulose nanofiber for sustainable production: A bibliometric analysis. Materials Today: Proceedings. Available at:

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Hussain Ahmed

Written by

Hussain Ahmed

Hussain graduated from Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad with Bachelors in Aerospace Engineering. During his studies, he worked on several research projects related to Aerospace Materials & Structures, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Nano-technology & Robotics. After graduating, he has been working as a freelance Aerospace Engineering consultant. He developed an interest in technical writing during sophomore year of his B.S degree and has wrote several research articles in different publications. During his free time, he enjoys writing poetry, watching movies and playing Football.


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