Intercalation of the Microbial Biopolymers Welan Gum and EPS I into Layered Double Hydroxides
Zeitschrift für Naturforschung. B, A journal of chemical sciences
Three microbial polysaccharides, namely welan gum, scleroglucan, and EPS I, a novel polysaccharide obtained from a newly isolated bacillus species with structural similarities to xanthan gum, were employed in the fabrication of bio-nanocomposites based on layered double hydroxides (LDH). Synthesis was performed by direct co-precipitation of Zn(NO3)2 and Al(NO3)3 in the polysaccharide solutions at pH ~ 8.5. The reaction products were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), elemental and
... XRD), elemental and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM and TEM). It was found that welan gum is successfully intercalated into the Zn-Al-LDH structure, giving a d-spacing of 2:38 nm for the interlayer distance, while neutral scleroglucan failed to be intercalated. Instead, this biopolymer was only surface-adsorbed on inorganic CaAl-OH-LDH platelets, as was evidenced by de-washing experiments. These results indicate that the anionic functionality of the polysaccharides presents a main driving force behind their intercalation. In contrast to regular xanthan gum, EPS I was intercalated into the LDH structure to give a sharp X-ray reflection representing a d-spacing of 2:77 nm. This behavior proves that slight modifications of the polysaccharide can greatly improve its intercalation ability.