, Volume 24, Issue 8, pp 3243–3254 | Cite as

Facile one-step extraction and oxidative carboxylation of cellulose nanocrystals through hydrothermal reaction by using mixed inorganic acids

  • Miao Cheng
  • Zongyi Qin
  • Yuanyu Chen
  • Jiaming Liu
  • Zichu Ren
Original Paper


A facile and efficient approach to prepare carboxylated cellulose nanocrystals (CCNCs) is presented through a novel one-step hydrothermal procedure by using a mixed acid system of hydrochloric acid and nitric acid (HCl/HNO3). The as-prepared cellulose nanoparticles were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, wide angle X-ray diffraction, conductometric titrations, Fourier transform infrared spectrometry and thermal gravimetric analysis. The results showed that the combination of the mixed acid and hydrothermal reaction can speed up the process of CCNC preparation, and then high quality of the product could be obtained at relatively low acid concentration. It is found that the addition of nitric acid could not only promote the conversion of surface groups on the cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs), but also have significant influences on the yield, particle size and microstructure of CNCs. For the volume ratio of HCl/HNO3 of 7:3, the as-prepared CCNCs exhibited the largest length to diameter ratio and narrowest dimension distributions as well as maximum degree of oxidation of 0.12. In addition, high dispersion stability for the CCNCs could be observed due to the existence of negative carboxyl groups. This approach based on one-step oxidative carboxylation greatly simplified the preparation of CCNCs with high yield and high crystallinity under mild hydrothermal condition.


Carboxylated cellulose nanocrystals Mixed acid hydrolysis Hydrothermal reaction One-step oxidative carboxylation 



This work has been financially supported by Key Basic Research Project of Science and Technology of Shanghai (15Q10622). Dr. Miao Cheng kindly acknowledges the support from the Innovation Research Funds for the Doctoral candidate of Donghua University (15D310606).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miao Cheng
    • 1
  • Zongyi Qin
    • 1
  • Yuanyu Chen
    • 1
  • Jiaming Liu
    • 1
  • Zichu Ren
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory for Modification of Chemical Fibers and Polymer Materials, and College of Material Science and EngineeringDonghua UniversityShanghaiChina

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