Cellulose nanofiber (CNF) as a versatile filler for the preparation of bamboo pulp based tissue paper handsheets
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Tissue paper that is prepared from bamboo has a very promising future in the world, especially in China, thanks to the various merits of bamboo fibers. However, the water absorption behavior and mechanical properties of bamboo pulp based tissue paper need to be improved due to the inherent drawbacks of bamboo fiber, such as high stiffness, weak interaction between bamboo fibers etc. Hence, cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) were combined with bamboo fibers before the tissue paper-making process, to improve the water absorption behavior and mechanical properties of tissue paper. The hypotheses are that: (1) CNFs themselves possess large specific surface area and abundant hydroxyl groups as well, thus enhancing the hydrophilicity of tissue paper; and (2) the added CNFs can form 3D structures in tissue paper, thus providing abundant pores with uniform small size, which would facilitate the capillary effect for water absorption; and (3) more hydrogen bonds will be formed between CNF and bamboo fibers, thus improving the strength properties of tissue paper, thanks to the excellent mechanical and physical properties of CNF. The results from water absorption and tensile strength tests of bamboo handsheets indicated that the addition of CNFs can increase the water absorption capacity from 6.6 to 8.7 g/g when the CNF dosage was 10 wt% (based on the dried pulp). The water retention value of prepared bamboo fibers increased from 163 to 190% at the same CNF dosage, the tensile index increased from 18.5 to 24.5 N m/g as well. The results from the bulk and pore size analyses, FTIR, as well as SEM images of tissue paper also evidenced the conclusions above.
KeywordsBamboo pulp fibers Tissue paper Cellulose nanofiber (CNF) Water absorption Tensile strength Bulk
The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support from the National Key Research and Development Plan (Grant 2017YFB0307902), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant 31670589), the Canada Research Chairs program of the Government of Canada, the basic scientific research operation foundation of Tianjin University of Science and Technology (Grant: 000040186), the research fund of Tianjin Key Laboratory of Pulp and Paper, China (Grant: 201806), the research fund of Zhejiang JingXing Paper Joint Stock Co., Ltd (Grant: 21843), and the Opening Project of Guangxi Key Laboratory of Clean Pulp and Papermaking and Pollution Control, Nanning 530004, P.R. China (Grant: KF201815-4).
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