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Surface Modification of Cellulose Nanocrystals with Succinic Anhydride

Department of Chemistry and Technology of Polymers, Cracow University of Technology, ul. Warszawska 24, 31-155 Kraków, Poland
Polymer Institute, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dúbravská cesta 9, 845 41 Bratislava 45, Slovakia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 866;
Received: 24 March 2019 / Revised: 1 May 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellulose and Renewable Materials)
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The surface modification of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) is a key intermediate step in the development of new functionalities and the tailoring of nanomaterial properties for specific applications. In the area of polymeric nanocomposites, apart from good interfacial adhesion, the high thermal stability of cellulose nanomaterial is vitally required for the stable processing and improvement of material properties. In this respect, the heterogeneous esterification of CNC with succinic anhydride was investigated in this work in order to obtain CNC with optimised surface and thermal properties. The influence of reaction parameters, such as time, temperature, and molar ratio of reagents, on the structure, morphology and thermal properties, were systematically studied over a wide range of values by DLS, FTIR, XPS, WAXD, SEM and TGA methods. It was found that the degree of surface substitution of CNC increased with the molar ratio of succinic anhydride to cellulose hydroxyl groups (SA:OH), as well as the reaction time, whilst the temperature of reaction showed a moderate effect on the degree of esterification in the range of 70–110 °C. The studies on the thermal stability of modified nanoparticles indicated that there is a critical extent of surface esterification below which only a slight decrease of the initial temperature of degradation was observed in pyrolytic and oxidative atmospheres. A significant reduction of CNC thermal stability was observed only for the longest reaction time (240 min) and the highest molar ratio of SA:OH. This illustrates the possibility of manufacturing thermally stable, succinylated, CNC by controlling the reaction conditions and the degree of esterification. View Full-Text
Keywords: cellulose nanocrystals; whiskers; surface modification; esterification; succinic anhydride cellulose nanocrystals; whiskers; surface modification; esterification; succinic anhydride

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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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Leszczyńska, A.; Radzik, P.; Szefer, E.; Mičušík, M.; Omastová, M.; Pielichowski, K. Surface Modification of Cellulose Nanocrystals with Succinic Anhydride. Polymers 2019, 11, 866.

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