, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 2505–2515 | Cite as

Effects of carboxyl-group counter-ions on biodegradation behaviors of TEMPO-oxidized cellulose fibers and nanofibril films

  • Ikue Homma
  • Hayaka Fukuzumi
  • Tsuguyuki Saito
  • Akira Isogai
Original Paper


The biodegradation behaviors of 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl radical (TEMPO)-oxidized cellulose fibers (TOCs) and TEMPO-oxidized cellulose nanofibril (TOCN) films containing various carboxyl-group counter-ions were studied. Na+, H+, Ca2+, NH4 +, Cu2+, K+, and Cs+ were introduced into the TOCs or TOCN films, by ion-exchange treatment, as the carboxyl-group counter-ions. TOCs suspended in distilled water were treated with a commercial crude cellulase, and the TOCN films were subjected to soil burial tests. The crude-cellulase-treated products obtained from the TOCs were separated into water/ethanol-insoluble and -soluble fractions, i.e., high- and low-molecular-weight fractions, respectively. The degradation behaviors of the TOCs were evaluated from the weight recovery ratios of the water/ethanol-insoluble fractions and their viscosity-average degrees of polymerization. The results showed that the degradation behaviors of the TOCs were greatly influenced by the counter ion, and the counter-ion order of degradability was Na+ ≈ NH4 + ≈ K+ ≈ Cs+ ≫ Ca2+ > H+ > Cu2+. These degradability differences were influenced by the swelling behavior of the corresponding TOCs in distilled water; the higher the swelling degree of the TOC, the higher the degradation efficiency of the TOC in the reaction with crude cellulase. Similar biodegradation behaviors were observed in soil burial tests for TOCN films containing various carboxyl-group counter-ions in soil burial test; again the counter ion greatly influenced the resultant biodegradability. The biodegradation behaviors of TOCs and TOCN films can therefore be controlled by selecting an appropriate carboxyl-group counter-ion.


Biodegradation Cellulase Ion exchange Soil burial test TEMPO-oxidized cellulose 



This study was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS): Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research S (21228007).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ikue Homma
    • 1
  • Hayaka Fukuzumi
    • 1
  • Tsuguyuki Saito
    • 1
  • Akira Isogai
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Agricultural and Life SciencesThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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