In recent years, cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) have emerged as a leading biomass-based nanomaterial owing to their unique functional properties and sustainable resourcing. Sulfated cellulose nanocrystals (sCNCs), produced by sulfuric acid-assisted hydrolysis of cellulose, is currently the predominant form of this class of nanomaterial; its utilization leads the way in terms of CNC commercialization activities and industrial applications. The functional properties, including high crystallinity, colloidal stability, and uniform nanoscale dimensions, can also be attained through carboxylated cellulose nanocrystals (cCNCs). Herein, we review recent progress in methods and feedstock materials for producing cCNCs, describe their functional properties, and discuss the initial successes in their applications. Comparisons are made to sCNCs to highlight some of the inherent advantages that cCNCs may possess in similar applications. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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