Barriers from wood hydrolysate/quaternized cellulose polyelectrolyte complexes
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Biobased polyelectrolyte complexes (PECs) were prepared by mixing negatively charged O-acetyl-4-O-methylglucuronoxylan-rich wood hydrolysate (WH) and positively charged quaternized cellulose (QC) in aqueous solution. The WH was obtained as an aqueous process liquor of the hydrothermal treatment of birch wood chips and partially upgraded by membrane filtration and dialysis. Three QC derivatives with different degrees of quaternization were synthesized, characterized in terms of molecular weight, charge density, crystallinity and solubility, and utilized for PEC production. The WH/QC PECs were designed to form free-standing films with high oxygen barrier performance and good mechanical integrity. The impact of the QC degree of quaternization on the oxygen permeability at both 50 and 80 % relative humidity, water vapor permeability and tensile properties was investigated. Films with a tensile strain-to-break as high as 7 % and an oxygen permeability as low as 1.3 (cm3 μm)/(m2 day kPa) at 80 % relative humidity were achieved.
KeywordsWood hydrolysate Xylan Cationic cellulose Oxygen barrier Film Packaging
The authors gratefully acknowledge VINNOVA (Project Number 2009-04311) and Tetra Pak Packaging Solutions AB for their financial support. Dr. Margaretha Söderqvist-Lindblad at Södra Innovation AB is thanked for kindly providing the wood chips. Dr. Nour Eddine El Gueddari at the Institute of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, University of Münster, Germany, is thanked for performing the SEC measurements for the quaternized cellulose samples.
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