Microcrystalline cellulose: Isolation, characterization and bio-composites application-A review

Int J Biol Macromol. 2016 Dec;93(Pt A):789-804. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2016.09.056. Epub 2016 Sep 16.


Considering its widespread usage in various fields, such as food, pharmaceutical, medical, cosmetic and polymer composites industries, microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) is becoming impellent due to increasing demand of alternatives to non-renewable and scarce fossil materials. Although it still suffers from some drawbacks, MCC has recently gained more interest owing to its renewability, non-toxicity, economic value, biodegradability, high mechanical properties, high surface area and biocompatibility. New sources, new isolation processes, and new treatments are currently under development to satisfy the increasing demand of producing new types of MCC-based materials on an industrial scale. Therefore, this review assembles the current knowledge on the isolation of MCC from different sources using various procedures, its characterization, and its application in bio-composites. Challenges and future opportunities of MCC-based composites are discussed as well as obstacles remaining for their extensive uses.

Keywords: Bio-composite; Characterization; Isolation; Microcrystalline cellulose.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cellulose / chemistry*
  • Cellulose / isolation & purification*


  • Cellulose
  • microcrystalline cellulose