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Cellulose Fibers Hydrophobization via a Hybrid Chemical Modification

Lodz University of Technology, Institute of Polymer and Dye Technology, Faculty of Chemistry, Stefanowskiego 12/16, 90-924 Lodz, Poland
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Polymers 2019, 11(7), 1174; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11071174
Received: 18 June 2019 / Revised: 4 July 2019 / Accepted: 9 July 2019 / Published: 11 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Collection Sustainable Polymeric Materials from Renewable Resources)
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Abstract

The following article highlights the importance of an indispensable process in cellulose fibers (UFC100) modification which may change the biopolymer properties—drying. The reader is provided with a broad range of information considering the drying process consequences on the chemical treatment of the cellulose. This research underlines the importance of UFC100 moisture content reduction considering polymer composites application with the employment of a technique different than thermal treating. Therefore, a new hybrid chemical modification approach is introduced. It consists of two steps: solvent exchange (with ethanol either hexane) and chemical treatment (maleic anhydride—MA). With the use of Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), it has been proven that the employment of different solvents may contribute to the higher yield of the modification process as they cause rearrangements in hydrogen bonds structure, swell the biopolymer and, therefore, affect its molecular packing. Furthermore, according to the thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), the improvement in fibers thermal resistance was noticed, e.g., shift in the value of 5% temperature mass loss from 240 °C (regular modification) to 306 °C (while solvent employed). Moreover, the research was broadened with cellulose moisture content influence on the modification process—tested fibers were either dried (D) or not dried (ND) before the hybrid chemical treatment. According to the gathered data, D cellulose exhibits elevated thermal resistance and ND fibers are more prone to the MA modification. What should be emphasized, in the case of all carried out UFC100 treatments, is that a decrease in moisture contend was evidenced—from approximately 4% in case of thermal drying to 1.7% for hybrid chemical modification. This is incredibly promising considering the possibility of the treated fibers application in polymer matrix. View Full-Text
Keywords: cellulose fibers; moisture; maleic anhydride; solvent exchange; cellulose drying cellulose fibers; moisture; maleic anhydride; solvent exchange; cellulose drying
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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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Cichosz, S.; Masek, A. Cellulose Fibers Hydrophobization via a Hybrid Chemical Modification. Polymers 2019, 11, 1174.

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