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Surface accessibility of cellulose fibrils studied by hydrogen-deuterium exchange with water
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemistry, Applied Physical Chemistry.
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Centres, Wallenberg Wood Science Center.
2016 (English)In: Cellulose (London), ISSN 0969-0239, E-ISSN 1572-882XArticle in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2016.
Keyword [en]
Cellulose, Deuterium, FT-IR, Hydrogen bond, Exchange, Morphology
National Category
Physical Chemistry
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-199199DOI: 10.1007/s10570-016-1122-8OAI: diva2:1060626

QC 20161230

Available from: 2016-12-29 Created: 2016-12-29 Last updated: 2016-12-30Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Cellulose-water interaction: a spectroscopic study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cellulose-water interaction: a spectroscopic study
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The human society of today has a significantly negative impact on the environment and needs to change its way of living towards a more sustainable path if to continue to live on a healthy planet. One path is believed to be an increased usage of naturally degradable and renewable raw materials and, therefore, attention has been focused on the highly abundant biopolymer cellulose. However, a large drawback with cellulose-based materials is the significant change of their mechanical properties when in contact with water. Despite more than a century of research, the extensively investigated interaction between water and cellulose still possesses many unsettled questions, and if the answer to those were known, cellulose-based materials could be more efficiently utilized.

It is well understood that one interaction between cellulose and water is through hydrogen bonds, established between water and the hydroxyl groups of the cellulose. Due to the very similar properties of the hydroxyl groups in water and the hydroxyl groups of the cellulose, the specific interaction-induced effect on the hydroxyl groups at a cellulose surface is difficult to investigate.  Therefore, a method based on 2H MAS NMR spectroscopy has been developed and validated in this work. Due to the verified ability of the methodology to provide site-selective information regarding the molecular dynamics of the cellulose deuteroxyl groups (i.e. deuterium-exchanged hydroxyl groups), it was shown by investigating 1H-2H exchanged cellulose samples that only two of the three accessible hydroxyl groups (on the surface of cellulose fibrils) exchange with water. This finding was also verified by FT-IR spectroscopy, and together with MD simulations we could establish that it is O(2)H and O(6)H hydroxyl groups (of the constituting glucose units) that exchange with water. From the MD simulations additional conclusion could be drawn regarding the molecular interactions required for hydrogen exchange; an exchanging hydroxyl group needs to donate its hydrogen in a hydrogen bond to water.

Exchange kinetics of thin cellulose films were investigated by monitoring two different exchange processes with FT-IR spectroscopy. Specific information about the two exchanging hydroxyl/deuteroxyl groups was then extracted by deconvoluting the changing intensities of the recorded IR spectra. It was recognized that the exchange of the hydroxyl groups were well described by a two-region model, which was assessed to correspond to two fibrillary surfaces differentiated by their respective positions in the fibril aggregate. From the detailed deconvolution it was also possible to estimate the fraction of these two surfaces, which indicated that the average aggregate of cotton cellulose is built up by three to four fibrils.                      

2H MAS NMR spectroscopy was used to examine different states of water in cellulose samples, hydrated at different relative humidities of heavy water. The results showed that there exist two states of water adsorbed onto the cellulose, differentiated by distinct different mobilities. These two states of water are well separated and had negligible exchange on the time scale of the experiments. It was suggested that they are located at the internal and external surfaces of the fibril aggregates.

By letting cellulose nanofibrils undergo an epoxidation reaction with a mono epoxide some indicative results regarding how to protect the cellulose material from the negative impact of water were presented. The protecting effect of the epoxidation were examined by mechanically testing and NMR spectroscopy. It was proposed that by changing the dominant interaction between the fibril aggregates from hydrophilic hydrogen bonds to hydrophobic π-interactions the sensitivity to moisture was much reduced. The results also indicated that the relative reduction in moisture sensitivity was largest for the samples with highest moisture content.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. 48 p.
cellulose, water, hydrogen exchange, deuterium, NMR spectroscopy, FT-IR spectroscopy
National Category
Physical Chemistry
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-199200 (URN)978-91-7729-146-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-01-27, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation

QC 20161229

Available from: 2016-12-29 Created: 2016-12-29 Last updated: 2016-12-29Bibliographically approved

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Lindh, Erik L.Salmén, Lennart
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