Water resistant nanopapers prepared by lactic acid modified cellulose nanofibers
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The current work reports a novel, completely water based approach to prepare the water resistant modified cellulose nanopapers. Lactic acid in aqueous medium was attached on cellulose nanofibers surface with the aid of ultra-sonication and later oligomerized (polymerized) by compression molding under high temperature and pressure, to obtain the modified nanopapers with enhanced mechanical properties. The modified nanopapers showed an increase of 32% in the elastic modulus and 30% in the yield strength over reference nanopapers. Additionally, the modified nanopaper was hydrophobic in nature and had superior storage modulus under moist conditions. The storage modulus of wet modified nanopaper was three times (2.4 GPa) compared to the reference nanopapers (0.8 GPa) after 1 h immersion in water. Finally, the thermal stability of the modified nanopaper was also higher than reference nanopaper. The material reported is 100% bio-based.
KeywordsCellulose nanofibers Lactic acid Water resistant nanopaper Mechanical properties
The authors acknowledge the financial support of the TEKES FiDiPro Program. Authors would also like to thank Dr. Petteri Piltonen for his valuable feedback during the writing of this paper.
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