Cellulose, the most abundant polymer on Earth and the main constituent in all plant material, has been a primary base component of paper and paperboard making since the 18th century after it was first discovered in 1838 by Anselme Payen, a French chemist.
Cellulose has been emerging as the most prominent green material of modern times.
- 1838 – Cellulose first isolated from plant matter
- 1844 – Paper industrially manufactured from cellulose derived from wood pulping
- 1870 – Celluloid, photographic film; 1st successful thermoplastic polymer
- 1884 – Rayon was invented
- 1912 – Cellophane was invented
- 1970s – First nanocellulose was created and initially coined as “microfibrillated cellulose”, or MFC
- 1970s – mid-1990s – Minimal additional discovery. Nanocellulose’s usefulness not yet understood
- 1995 – 1st fabrication of nanocellulose-based nanocomposite. Research begins to gain traction.
- 1995 – 2010 – Two hundred scholarly research papers published
- 2010 – 2020 – Over 2,000 scholarly research papers published