The effect of chemical treatment of hemp hurds slices in three solutions (EDTA (Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid), NaOH and Ca(OH)2
) on the properties of natural material was discussed in this paper. Changes in the morphology, chemical composition and structure as well as thermal stability of hemp hurds before and after their modification were investigated by using FTIR (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy), XRD (X-ray powder diffraction analysis) and TG (thermogravimetry)/DSC (differential scanning calorimetry). Size exclusion chromatography (SEC) measurements were used for determination of degree of cellulose polymerization of hemp hurd samples. Chemical modification is related to the partial removal of non-cellulosic components of lignin, hemicellulose and pectin as well as waxes from the surface of hemp hurd slices. Another effect of the chemical treatment applied is connected with increasing the crystallinity index of cellulose determined by FTIR and XRD methods. Decrease in degree of cellulose polymerization and polydispersity index in chemically modified hemp hurds compared to the original sample was observed. Increase in thermal stability of treated hemp hurd was found. The most significant changes were observed in alkaline treated hemp hurds by NaOH.
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