AbstractBecause of their wide abundance, their renewable and environmentally benign nature, and their outstanding mechanical properties, a great deal of attention has been paid recently to cellulosic nanofibrillar structures as components in nanocomposites. A first major challenge has been to find efficient ways to liberate cellulosic fibrils from different source materials, including wood, agricultural residues, or bacterial cellulose. A second major challenge has involved the lack of compatibility of cellulosic surfaces with a variety of plastic materials. The water-swellable nature of cellulose, especially in its non-crystalline regions, also can be a concern in various composite materials. This review of recent work shows that considerable progress has been achieved in addressing these issues and that there is potential to use cellulosic nano-components in a wide range of high-tech applications.