Films of microfibrillated celluloses (MFCs) from pulps of different yields, containing varying amounts of extractives, lignin, and hemicelluloses, were produced by combining refining and high-pressure homogenization techniques. MFC films were produced using a casting-evaporation technique and the physical and mechanical properties (including density, roughness, fold endurance and tensile properties) were determined. Homogenization of bleached and unbleached Kraft pulps gave rise to highly individualized MFCs, but not for thermo-mechanical pulp (TMP). The resulting MFC films had a roughness equivalent to the surface upon which the films were cast. Interestingly, after homogenization, the presence of lignin significantly increased film toughness, tensile index, and elastic modulus. The hornification of fibers through a drying and rewetting cycle prior to refining and homogenization did not produce any significant effect compared to films from never-dried fibers, indicating that MFC films can potentially be made from low-cost recycled cellulosic materials.
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