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Mercerized cellulose biocomposites: A study of influence of mercerization on cellulose supramolecular structure, water retention value and tensile properties
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Centres, Wallenberg Wood Science Center.
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Wood Chemistry and Pulp Technology. KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Centres, Wallenberg Wood Science Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9176-7116
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Centres, Wallenberg Wood Science Center.
2013 (English)In: Cellulose (London), ISSN 0969-0239, E-ISSN 1572-882X, Vol. 20, no 1, 57-65 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this study the effect of the mercerization degree on the water retention value (WRV) and tensile properties of compression molded sulphite dissolving pulp was evaluated. The pulp was treated with 9, 10, or 11 % aqueous NaOH solution for 1 h before compression molding. To study the time dependence of mercerization the pulp was treated with 12 wt% aqueous NaOH for 1, 6 or 48 h. The cellulose I and II contents of the biocomposites were determined by solid state cross polarization/magic angle spinning carbon 13 nuclear magnetic resonance (CP/MAS 13C NMR) spectroscopy. By spectral fitting of the C6 and C1 region the cellulose I and II content, respectively, could be determined. Mercerization decreased the total crystallinity (sum of cellulose I and cellulose II content) and it was not possible to convert all cellulose I to cellulose II in the NaOH range investigated. Neither increased the conversion significantly with 12 wt% NaOH at longer treatment times. The slowdown of the cellulose I conversion was suggested as being the result from the formation of cellulose II as a consequence of coalescence of anti-parallel surfaces of neighboring fibrils (Blackwell et al. in Tappi 61:71–72, 1978; Revol and Goring in J Appl Polym Sci 26:1275–1282, 1981; Okano and Sarko in J Appl Polym Sci 30:325–332, 1985). Compression molding of the partially mercerized dissolving pulps yielded biocomposites with tensile properties that could be correlated to the decrease in cellulose I content in the pulps. Mercerization introduces cellulose II and disordered cellulose and lowered the total crystallinity reflected as higher water sensitivity (higher WRV values) and poorer stiffness of the mercerized biocomposites.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 20, no 1, 57-65 p.
Keyword [en]
Cellulose II, Compression molding, CP/MAS 13C NMR, Mercerization, Supramolecular structure
National Category
Polymer Chemistry
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-104593DOI: 10.1007/s10570-012-9801-6ISI: 000313365700006ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84872286468OAI: diva2:565201

QC 20130205

Available from: 2012-11-06 Created: 2012-11-06 Last updated: 2013-02-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Structural changes during cellulose composite processing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Structural changes during cellulose composite processing
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Two approaches for creating a new all-cellulose composite material have been studied: the biosynthesis of compartmentalised bacterial cellulose fibril aggregates and the compression moulding of commercial chemical wood pulps processed with only water. The objective was to study the structural changes during processing and the complexity of relating the mechanical properties of the final biocomposites to the nanoscale structure was highlighted.

Solid-state CP/MAS 13C NMR spectroscopy was utilised to determine both the fibril aggregate width and the content of the different crystalline cellulose forms, cellulose I and cellulose II. Using this method, the quantities of hemicellulose present inside the fibre wall and localised at the fibre surfaces could be determined.

The formation of cellulose fibrils was affected by the addition of hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC) to a culture medium of Acetobacter aceti, and the fibrils were coated with a thin layer of HEC, which resulted in loose bundles of fibril aggregates. The HEC coating, improved the fibril dispersion in the films and prevented fractures, resulting in a biocomposite with remarkable mechanical properties including improved strength (289 MPa), modulus (12.5 GPa) and toughness (6%).

The effect of press temperature was studied during compression moulding of sulphite dissolving-grade pulps at 45 MPa. A higher press temperature yielded increases in the fibril aggregation, water resistance (measured as the water retention value) and Young’s modulus (12 GPa) in the final biocomposite. The high pressure was important for fibril aggregation, possibly including cellulose-cellulose fusion bonds, i.e., fibril aggregation in the fibre-fibre bond region. The optimal press temperature was found to be 170°C because cellulose undergoes thermal degradation at higher temperatures.

The effect of hemicellulose was studied by comparing a softwood kraft paper-grade pulp with a softwood sulphite paper and a softwood sulphite dissolving-grade pulp. A significant fibril aggregation of the sulphite pulps suggested that the content and distribution of hemicellulose affected the fibril aggregation. In addition, the hemicellulose structure could influence the ability of the hemicellulose to co-aggregate with cellulose fibrils. Both sulphite pulp biocomposites exhibited Young’s moduli of approximately 12 GPa, whereas that of the kraft pulp was approximately half that value at 6 GPa. This result can be explained by a higher sensitivity to beating in the sulphite pulps.

The effect of mercerisation, which introduces disordered cellulose, on the softwood sulphite dissolving-grade pulp was also studied under compression moulding at 170°C and 45 MPa. The mechanisms causing an incomplete transformation of cellulose I to II in a 12 wt% NaOH solution were discussed. The lower modulus of cellulose II and/or the higher quantity of disordered cellulose likely account for the decrease in Young’s modulus in the mercerised biocomposites (6.0 versus 3.9 GPa).

Abstract [sv]

Två metoder för att skapa ett nytt kompositmaterial baserat på enbart cellulosa har studerats, biosyntes av fibrillaggregat bestående av bakteriecellulosa och varmpressning av kommersiella träfiberbaserade massor med vatten som den enda processkemikalien. Målet var att studera de strukturella förändringarna som sker under tillverkningsprocessen. Även komplexiteten i att relatera strukturen på nanonivå till de mekaniska egenskaperna hos de slutliga biokompositerna belystes.

Med fastfas CP/MAS 13C NMR-spektroskopi var det möjligt att bestämma både fibrillaggregattjockleken och mängden av cellulosakristallformerna; cellulosa I och cellulosa II. Det var också möjligt att bestämma mängden hemicellulosa dels närvarande inuti fiberväggen och dels mängden lokaliserad på fiberytor.

Tillsats av hydroxyetylcellulosa (HEC) i odlingsmediet för Acetobacter aceti påverkade bildandet av cellulosafibriller som blev belagda med ett tunt skikt av HEC, vilket också resulterade i löst bundna fibrillaggregat. HEC-beläggningen förbättrade fibrilldispersionen i filmerna och minskade sprickbildningen, vilket gav en biokomposit med mycket goda mekaniska egenskaper med kombinerad hög styrka (289 MPa), styvhet (12.5 GPa) och seghet (6%).

Effekten av presstemperatur vid varmpressning (45 MPa tryck) studerades på sulfit dissolvingmassor. Högre presstemperatur gav ökad fibrillaggregering, ökat vattenmotstånd (mätt som vattenretentionsvärde) och högre styvhet (12 GPa) för biokompositen. Det höga trycket var också viktigt för fibrillaggregeringen, som troligen omfattar cellulosa-cellulosa samkristallisation dvs. fibrillaggregering i fiber-fiber-bindningsregionen. Den optimala presstemperaturen föreslogs vara 170° C pga. termisk nedbrytning av cellulosa vid högre temperaturer.

Effekten av hemicellulosa studerades genom att jämföra sulfat pappersmassa med sulfit pappersmassa och sulfit dissolvingmassa. Mängden och fördelningen av hemicellulosa föreslogs ligga till grund för skillnaden i fibrillaggregering, som var mera uttalad i sulfitmassorna. Även hemicellulosans struktur kan påverka förmågan hos hemicellulosa att sam-aggregera med cellulosafibriller. Biokompositerna baserade på sulfitmassorna hade en styvhet på ca. 12 GPa, medan sulfatmassan bara hade hälften av den nivån ca. 6 GPa, vilket förklarades av sulfitmassornas högre känslighet för malning.

Även effekten av mercerisering av sulfit dissolvingmassa varmpressad vid 170° C och 45 MPa studerades. Mercerisering introducerar oordnad cellulosa och mekanismerna som endast ger en partiell omvandling av cellulosa I till II i en 12 vikt% NaOH-lösning diskuterades. Den sämre styvheten hos den merceriserade biokompositen (6.0 resp. 3.9 GPa) förklaras troligen genom cellulosa II kristallens lägre styvhet och/eller den högre mängden av oordnad cellulosa.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2012. xi, 48 p.
Trita-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2012:46
CP/MAS 13C NMR, cellulose, fibril aggregation, biocomposite, compression moulding, supramolecular structure
National Category
Chemical Sciences Materials Chemistry
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-104568 (URN)978-91-7501-518-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-11-30, K1, Teknikringen 56, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Wallenberg Wood Science CenterBiomime
Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation

QC 20121106

Available from: 2012-11-06 Created: 2012-11-06 Last updated: 2012-11-09Bibliographically approved

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