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Materials 2014, 7(11), 7196-7216; doi:10.3390/ma7117196

Mechanism for Tuning the Hydrophobicity of Microfibrillated Cellulose Films by Controlled Thermal Release of Encapsulated Wax

1
Chair for Bio-based Materials Engineering, Faculty for Environment and Natural Resources, Freiburg Research Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS), University of Freiburg, Werthmannstrasse 6, 79085 Freiburg, Germany
2
Hermann Staudinger Graduate School, University of Freiburg, Hebelstrasse 27, 79104 Freiburg, Germany
3
Topchim N.V., Nijverheidsstraat 98, 2160 Wommelgem, Belgium
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 August 2014 / Revised: 8 October 2014 / Accepted: 12 October 2014 / Published: 28 October 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Cellulosic Materials 2014)
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Abstract

Although films of microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) have good oxygen barrier properties due to its fine network structure, properties strongly deteriorate after absorption of water. In this work, a new approach has been followed for actively tuning the water resistance of a MFC fiber network by the inclusion of dispersed organic nanoparticles with encapsulated plant wax. The modified pulp suspensions have been casted into films and were subsequently cured at 40 to 220 °C. As such, static water contact angles can be specifically tuned from 120 to 150° by selection of the curing temperature in relation with the intrinsic transition temperatures of the modified pulp, as determined by thermal analysis. The appearance of encapsulated wax after curing was followed by a combination of morphological analysis, infrared spectroscopy and Raman mapping, showing balanced mechanisms of progressive release and migration of wax into the fiber network controlling the surface properties and water contact angles. Finally, the appearance of nanoparticles covered with a thin wax layer after complete thermal release provides highest hydrophobicity. View Full-Text
Keywords: microfibrillated cellulose; hydrophobicity; encapsulation; wax; release microfibrillated cellulose; hydrophobicity; encapsulation; wax; release
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rastogi, V.K.; Stanssens, D.; Samyn, P. Mechanism for Tuning the Hydrophobicity of Microfibrillated Cellulose Films by Controlled Thermal Release of Encapsulated Wax. Materials 2014, 7, 7196-7216.

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