Water redispersible cellulose nanofibrils adsorbed with carboxymethyl cellulose
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Cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) are difficult to redisperse in water after they have been completely dried due to the irreversible agglomeration of cellulose during drying. Here, we have developed a simple process to prepare water-redispersible dried CNFs by the adsorption of small amounts of carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) and oven drying. The adsorption of CMC onto CNFs in water suspensions at 22 and 121 °C was studied, and the adsorbed amount of CMC was measured via conductimetric titration. The water-redispersibility of dried CNFs adsorbed with different amounts of CMC was characterized by sedimentation test. Above a critical threshold of CMC adsorption, i.e. 2.3 wt%, the oven dried CNF–CMC sample was fully redispersible in water. The morphology, rheological, and mechanical properties of water-redispersed CNF–CMC samples were investigated by field emission scanning electron microscopy, viscosity measurement, and tensile test, respectively. The water-redispersed CNFs preserved the original properties of never dried CNFs. This new method will facilitate the production, transportation and storage, and large-scale industrial applications of CNFs.
KeywordsCellulose nanofibrils Carboxymethyl cellulose Adsorption Redispersion
The authors thank the Swedish Research Council Formas (CarboMat, 2009-1687) and the Wallenberg Wood Science Center for supporting this work.