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Surface treatment of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC): effects on dispersion rheology

Journal article
Authors K. Sahlin
L. Forsgren
T. Moberg
Diana Bernin
M. Rigdahl
G. Westman
Published in Cellulose
Volume 25
Issue 1
Pages 331-345
ISSN 0969-0239
Publication year 2018
Published at Swedish NMR Centre at Göteborg University
Pages 331-345
Language en
Keywords Cellulose nanocrystals, Azetidinium salts, Chemical modification, Dispersion rheology, Thermal, wet-strength development, aqueous suspensions, sulfate groups, behavior, nanocellulose, nanofibrils, hydrolysis, adsorption, mechanism, paper, Materials Science, Polymer Science, ocesses, characterization and properties, v5, p73
Subject categories Chemical Sciences


Cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) were surface modified by grafting azetidinium salts onto the sulphate ester groups on the cellulosic surfaces. The modified CNC were characterized using NMR, FTIR spectroscopy, conductometric titration and measurement of the zeta-potential. Thermal gravimetrical analysis revealed that the onset temperature for the thermal degradation was shifted upwards by almost 100 degrees C as a result of the surface grafting. The rheological properties of dispersions based on unmodified and modified CNC were evaluated in detail. Two solids contents were studied; 0.65 and 1.3 wt%. In general, the grafting of the salts significantly increased the shear viscosity at a given shear rate as well as the storage and loss moduli of the dispersions. The CNC concentration at the gel point (network formation) decreased in a corresponding manner when the nanocellulosic particles were surface modified. This may be associated with pronounced hydrophobic attractive interactions between the grafted substituents.

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