A Fast Dissolution Pretreatment to Produce Strong Regenerated Cellulose Nanofibers via Mechanical Disintegration [component]

This study investigates a fast dissolution and regeneration pretreatment to produce regenerated cellulose nanofibers (RCNFs) via mechanical disintegration. Two cellulose pulps, namely, birch and dissolving pulps, with degree of polymerizations of 1800 and 3600, respectively, were rapidly dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) by using tetraethylammonium hydroxide (TEAOH) as aqueous electrolyte at room temperature. When TEAOH (35 wt % in water) was added to the pulp−DMSO dispersion (pulp:DMSO
more » ... TEAOH:DMSO weight ratios of 1:90 and 1:9, respectively), 95% of the dissolving pulp and 85% of the birch pulp fibers dissolved almost immediately. Addition of water caused the regeneration of cellulose without any chemical modification and only a minor decrease of DP, whereas the crystallinity structure of cellulose transformed from cellulose I to cellulose II. The regenerated cellulose could then be mechanically disintegrated into nanosized fibers with only a few passes through a microfluidizer, and RCNF showed fibrous structure. The specific tensile strength of the film produced from both RCNFs exceeded 100 kN•m/kg, and overall mechanical properties of RCNF produced from birch pulp were in line with reference CNF produced by using extensive mechanical disintegration. Although the thermal stability of RCNFs was slightly lower compared to their corresponding original cellulose pulp, the onset temperature of degradation of RCNFs was over 270 °C.
doi:10.1021/acs.biomac.1c00466.s001 fatcat:wd3tiyrccbfhpfoxxs26tr7rb4