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Open AccessArticle

Surface Alkylation of Cellulose Nanocrystals to Enhance Their Compatibility with Polylactide

by Joo Hyung Lee 1,†, Sang Ho Park 2,† and Seong Hun Kim 1,*
Department of Organic and Nano Engineering, College of Engineering, Hanyang University, Seoul 04763, Korea
LG Hausys R&D Center, Seoul 07796, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Polymers 2020, 12(1), 178; (registering DOI)
Received: 25 December 2019 / Revised: 5 January 2020 / Accepted: 6 January 2020 / Published: 9 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Functional Textiles)
Effective surface alkylation of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) was developed using a nucleophilic substitution reaction with an alkyl bromide to convert hydrophilic groups on the CNCs into alkyl groups and the degree of substitution was quantitatively determined. The resultant alkylated CNCs exhibited improved dispersion in a nonpolar environment and increased hydrophobicity, compared with unmodified and acetylated CNCs. Polylactide (PLA) nanocomposites reinforced with unmodified and modified CNCs were prepared by a solution casting method and the effects of reinforcement on the thermal stability, mechanical properties, morphology, and barrier properties were investigated. In addition, modeling of the mechanical properties was evaluated to simulate the modulus of the PLA nanocomposites and results were compared with the experimental values. PLA nanocomposites reinforced with alkylated CNCs exhibited superior properties in terms of thermal stability, tensile strength, Young’s modulus, and barrier properties because of the uniform dispersion and strong interfacial adhesion between filler and matrix. This high performance and fully return-to-nature nanocomposite is expected to expand the utilization of CNCs from sustainable bioresources and the practical application of biodegradable plastics. View Full-Text
Keywords: cellulose nanocrystals; surface modification; polylactide; nanocomposites cellulose nanocrystals; surface modification; polylactide; nanocomposites
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lee, J.H.; Park, S.H.; Kim, S.H. Surface Alkylation of Cellulose Nanocrystals to Enhance Their Compatibility with Polylactide. Polymers 2020, 12, 178.

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