Biomimetic scale-resistant polymer nanocomposites: Towards universal additive-free scale inhibition

Amir Sheikhi, Ashok Kakkar, Theo G.M. Van De Ven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Macromolecular additives have long been used as the gold standard for inorganic scale inhibition in water-based industries. Despite their noticeable success in regulating the precipitation of sparingly soluble salts, environmental footprints such as eutrophication and acidification associated with anionic P, N, and S functionalized macromolecules have raised significant concerns, demanding green alternatives. Here, we show that incorporating a newly emerged nanoengineered cellulose, named anionic hairy cellulose nanocrystals (AHCNs, also known as electrosterically stabilized nanocrystalline cellulose, ENCC), into polymer matrices, e.g., cellulose acetate, a model system for water treatment membranes, mitigates the scaling of calcium carbonate, increasing the membrane lifetime up to a factor of 300% under harsh electrochemical conditions at only 0.4 wt% nanocellulose doping in the membrane casting solution. This may help establish the foundations for additive-free scale management based on plant-derived green, sustainable nanomaterials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10189-10195
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number22
StatePublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science


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