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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published online by De Gruyter May 14, 2022

Fabrication of bio-based composite fillers based on the combination of crystallization and gelation

Jingyi Nie, Xinming Liu, Jiantao Liang, Meiyun Zhang and Wenjia Han


Fillers are the second major component of paper, and can give certain properties to paper-based materials. However, if we want to use fillers to develop novel functional paper-based materials, some challenges have to be considered such as filler functionality, retention rate, and the negative effects. To meet with these challenges, the present work proposed a fabrication concept of bio-based composite fillers. The concept combined the crystallization of target component and the gelation process of chitosan (CS), simultaneously. The gels carried and protected the crystals, and served as bridge between crystal of fillers and the paper matrix. To explore and demonstrate the concept, CaCO3/CS bio-based composites were successfully fabricated. The composite fillers were further optimized to be suitable for paper-making. The fabrication concept could significantly increase the filler retention rate (up to 90.57 %), the filler bondability (increased over 10 times) and the mechanical strength (59.7 % higher than paper without fillers). The fabrication concept was also applicable to functional materials. Zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8)/CS composite fillers were successfully fabricated, and endowed the resulted paper with high surface area (180 times higher than pure cellulose paper). This fabrication concept would be useful to develop functional paper-based materials in the future.

Funding source: State Key Laboratory of Biobased Material and Green Papermaking, Qilu University of Technology

Award Identifier / Grant number: KF201805

Funding source: Shandong Academy of Sciences

Funding source: Key Science and Technology Program of Shaanxi Province

Award Identifier / Grant number: 2020JQ-704

Funding source: Guangxi Key Laboratory of Clean Pulp and Papermaking and Pollution Control

Award Identifier / Grant number: KF201810-4

Funding statement: This research was supported by the Foundation of State Key Laboratory of Biobased Material and Green Papermaking, Qilu University of Technology, Shandong Academy of Sciences (KF201805); the Foundation of Science and Technology project of Shaanxi Province (2020JQ-704); the Opening Project of Guangxi Key Laboratory of Clean Pulp & Papermaking and Pollution Control (KF201810-4).

  1. Author contributions: Xinming Liu and Jiantao Liang contributed equally to this work.

  2. Conflict of interest: There is no conflict of interest between this study and other individuals or organizations.


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Received: 2022-01-25
Accepted: 2022-04-24
Published Online: 2022-05-14

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