Skip to main content

Emily Cranston, Department of Chemical Engineering

To Emily Cranston, trees are more than just bark, limbs and leaves.

Trees contain renewal resources that can be harnessed into valuable materials for numerous uses, such as biodegradable packaging and paints, batteries and even bone implants. Emily Cfranston's research team works specifically with a material called nanocellulose, which are tiny particles or fibres extracted from trees. Emily is trying to learn from nature to create sustainable processes and technologies for the future.

More specifically, Cranston's work in this area includes investigating and modifying interfacial properties between nanocomposite components and encompasses a wide range of disciplines including polymer and surface chemistry, nanotribology, and pulp and paper science.

 Cranston, Canada Research Chair in Bio-Based Nanomaterials, is a world-leader in the field of nanocellulose. Cranston is leading a complex set of projects to improve the usability of cellulose nanocrystals and open new avenues for the commercialization of sustainable nanomaterials. 

In addition to using industrial produced nanocellulose materials, Cranston produces her own CNCs using original pathways – this offers more flexibility in experiments and a broader range of crystal properties that can be achieved. Cranston and her team will improve the temperature resistance nanocellulose and test how CNCs react with other components and in solvents. She will also develop self-assembling CNC clusters for use in products like inks, bone scaffolds, water treatment, and creams and gels. 

Cranston’s innovative work will break boundaries in the development, application, and commercialization of cellulose nanocrystals. These technologies will improve human health and the environment while providing manufacturing and employment opportunities within Canada. CNCs will advance many strategic industries in Canada, ensuring that Canada remains at the forefront of CNC discoveries.