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Change in the dispersion states of short-length-cellulose nanofibers upon dilution investigated by a time-domain nuclear magnetic resonance (TD-NMR)

Abstract

A short-length cellulose nanofiber (CNF) aqueous sol, prepared by a high-pressure homogenizer, showed a rapid longer relaxation time (T2) in the low-field 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) when diluted from 20 wt% to 1 wt%. Magnetic stirring for 30 min disentangled the fiber networks and the fragmented fibers appeared in the 1 wt% CNF sol. A decrease in the specific viscosity of the diluted sols changed the rheological behavior from exponential to linear below 1 wt%, suggesting a significant decrease in the inter-fibril interaction. The small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) with the generalized indirect Fourier transformation (GIFT) also indicated similar changes in the fiber flocculation structure without a change in the fiber size. The increasing viscosity upon severe fiber fragmentation by a high-pressure homogenizer may be ascribed to tighter holding of the interfibril water molecules. The time-domain (TD)-NMR fully supported the estimation that the transverse relaxation time (T2) showed consistently short for the 2 wt%, became shorter with the stirring time when diluted from 5 wt% to 2 wt%, and showed long upon dilution from 20 wt% to 2 wt%. Understanding the complex behavior of the highly viscous CNF sols during a simple dilution process may pave the way for developing CNF-related technology.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are particularly grateful for the assistance given by Mr. Takashi Kikkawa and Ms. Kazumi Tanikawa from Sanyo Trading Co., Ltd., for the technical support (Turbiscan and DCS) and Mr. Ryohei Nojiri from Nagoya Institute of Tehnology, Japan. The authors also like to express our gratitude to a part of this study supported by Leading Initiative for Excellent Young Researchers (LEADER) of MEXT, and Hosokawa Powder Foundation, Information Center of Powder Technology, Project to Enhance Innovation Creation Environment for National Universities, Foundation of Public Interest of Tatematsu, Knowledge Hub Aichi, and Future Fiber Factory (FFF) in Gifu University.

Funding

That research was supported Leading Initiative for Excellent Young Researchers (LEADER) of Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). Hosokawa Powder Foundation, Japan. The Information Center of Particle Technology, Japan. Project to Enhance Innovation Creation Environment for National Universities. Foundation of Public Interest of Tatematsu. Knowledge Hub Aichi.

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Conceptualization: CTY, JI, Data curation: CT-Y, JI, YY, YT, YW, Funding acquisition: CT-Y and MF, Investigation: CT-Y, JI, YW, YY and YT, Project administration: CT-Y, Resources: CT-Y, MF, YY, YT and YO, Supervision: CT-Y, Validation: CT-Y, Visualization: CT-Y, Writing—original draft: CT-Y, Writing—review and editing: CT-Y, JI, MS, MF, YO, YY and YT. The paper has been carefully revised by a professional language editing service (International Technology Exchange Society (ITE)) to improve the grammar and readability.

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Correspondence to Chika Takai-Yamashita.

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Takai-Yamashita, C., Ikeda, J., Wada, Y. et al. Change in the dispersion states of short-length-cellulose nanofibers upon dilution investigated by a time-domain nuclear magnetic resonance (TD-NMR). Cellulose 29, 7049–7062 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10570-022-04714-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10570-022-04714-3

Keywords

  • Cellulose nanofiber
  • Dilution
  • Rheology
  • SAXS
  • GIFT
  • TD-NMR