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Fibrillated cellulose in heterophase polymerization of nanoscale poly(methyl methacrylate) spheres


Nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) was used as bio-based stabilizing agent in the heterophase polymerization of methyl methacrylate (MMA) to nanoscale poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) spheres. NFC/MMA suspensions at different NFC/MMA ratios were prepared in water, and the suspension stability was evaluated before the subsequent polymerization. The resulting polymerization products as well as products from several control experiments were analyzed via optical microscopy, SEM, and isolation experiments associated with thermogravimetric analysis. PMMA spheres had diameters in the range of 150–250 nm and were regularly distributed within the NFC network, whereas NFC acted as a stabilizer during the polymerization. The appearance of the resulting PMMA spheres within the NFC network was influenced by different factors, such as the reaction conditions, the initiator, and the solubility of the monomer.

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This work was financially supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) within the National Research Programme 66 (NRP 66) “Resource Wood” Project-Nr 406640-136558). We kindly thank Beatrice Fischer for performing TGA measurements. We also thank Zellstoff Stendal for providing the cellulose raw material.

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Correspondence to Franziska Grüneberger or Thomas Geiger.

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Grüneberger, F., Huch, A., Geiger, T. et al. Fibrillated cellulose in heterophase polymerization of nanoscale poly(methyl methacrylate) spheres. Colloid Polym Sci 294, 1393–1403 (2016).

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  • Nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC)
  • PMMA spheres
  • Heterophase polymerization
  • Nanoparticles