Surface only modification of bacterial cellulose nanofibres with organic acids
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Bacterial cellulose (BC) nanofibres were modified only on their surface using an esterification reaction with acetic acid, hexanoic acid or dodecanoic acid. This reaction rendered the extremely hydrophilic surfaces of BC nanofibres hydrophobic. The hydrophobicity of BC increased with increasing carbon chain length of the organic acids used for the esterification reaction. Streaming (zeta-) potential measurements showed a slight shift in the isoelectric point and a decrease in ζplateau was also observed after the esterification reactions. This was attributed to the loss of acidic functional groups and increase in hydrophobicity due to esterification of BC with organic acids. A method based on hydrogen/deuterium exchange was developed to evaluate the availability of surface hydroxyl groups of neat and modified BC. The thermal degradation temperature of modified BC sheets decreased with increasing carbon chain length of the organic acids used. This is thought to be a direct result of the esterification reaction, which significantly reduces the packing efficiency of the nanofibres because of a reduction in the number of effective hydrogen bonds between them.
KeywordsBacterial cellulose Surface modification and characterisation Organic acid esterification Zeta-potential Dynamic vapour sorption
The authors greatly acknowledge the funding provided by the UK Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) for KYL (EP/F032005/1), FQ (EP/F028946/1) and the Challenging Engineering Programme of the EPSRC (EP/E007538/1) for JJB.
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