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Open AccessArticle

Cellulose Nanocrystals (CNCs) from Corn Stalk: Activation Energy Analysis

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College of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanjing Forestry University, Long Pan Road, Nanjing 210037, China
2
School of Materials Science and Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China
3
School of Renewable Natural Resources, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Giorgio Biasiol
Materials 2017, 10(1), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma10010080
Received: 15 November 2016 / Revised: 15 January 2017 / Accepted: 16 January 2017 / Published: 20 January 2017
Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) were isolated from corn stalk using sulfuric acid hydrolysis, and their morphology, chemical structure, and thermal stability properties were characterized. The CNCs had an average length of 120.2 ± 61.3 nm and diameter of 6.4 ± 3.1 nm (L/D = 18.7). The degree of crystallinity of the CNCs increased to 69.20% from the 33.20% crystallinity of raw corn stalk fiber, while the chemical structure was well kept after sulfuric acid hydrolysis. Thermal stability analysis showed that the degradation temperature of the CNCs reached 239.5 °C, which was higher than that of the raw fiber but lower than that of the extracted cellulose. The average activation energy values for the CNCs, evaluated using the Friedman, Flynn-Wall-Ozawa (F-W-O) and Coats-Redfern methods, were 312.6, 302.8, and 309 kJ·mol−1 in the conversion range of 0.1 to 0.8. The isolated CNCs had higher values of activation energy than did the purified cellulose, which was attributed to the stronger hydrogen bonds present in the crystalline domains of CNCs than in those of cellulose. These findings can help better understand the thermal properties of polymer/CNC composites. View Full-Text
Keywords: corn stalk; fiber; cellulose nanocrystal; thermal properties; activation energy corn stalk; fiber; cellulose nanocrystal; thermal properties; activation energy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Huang, S.; Zhou, L.; Li, M.-C.; Wu, Q.; Zhou, D. Cellulose Nanocrystals (CNCs) from Corn Stalk: Activation Energy Analysis. Materials 2017, 10, 80.

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