Comparison and assessment of methods for cellulose crystallinity determination

Khandoker Samaher Salem*, Nitesh Kumar Kasera, Md. Ashiqur Rahman, Hasan Jameel, Youssef Habibi, Stephen J. Eichhorn, Alfred D. French, Lokendra Pal, Lucian A. Lucia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The degree of crystallinity in cellulose significantly affects the physical, mechanical, and chemical properties of cellulosic materials, their processing, and their final application. Measuring the crystalline structures of cellulose is a challenging task due to inadequate consistency among the variety of analytical techniques available and the lack of absolute crystalline and amorphous standards. Our article reviews the primary methods for estimating the crystallinity of cellulose, namely, X-ray diffraction (XRD), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), Raman and Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, sum-frequency generation vibrational spectroscopy (SFG), as well as differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and evolving biochemical methods using cellulose binding molecules (CBMs). The techniques are compared to better interrogate not only the requirements of each method, but also their differences, synergies, and limitations. The article highlights fundamental principles to guide the general community to initiate studies of the crystallinity of cellulosic materials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6417-6446
Number of pages30
JournalChemical Society Reviews
Issue number18
Early online date17 Aug 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is in part supported by McIntire-Stennis grant number NI21MSCFRXXXG054 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The work of Dr. Lokendra Pal is in part supported by E. J. “Woody” Rice Professorship Endowment. The authors also acknowledge the funding support from Ministry of Science and Technology (Project ID: SRG-222388), Bangladesh and University Grants Commision's research grant (2022-2023) for the faculty of University of Dhaka while carrying out the work of Dr. Salem partially in the Department of Applied Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Dhaka. We also wish to acknowledge Dr. Peter W. Hart of WestRock for his generous financial support for the current review. The authors gratefully thank Mrittika Debnath for her support during the writing of this manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparison and assessment of methods for cellulose crystallinity determination'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this