Controlled heterogeneous modification of cellulose fibers with fatty acids: Effect of reaction conditions on the extent of esterification and fiber properties


The controlled heterogeneous partial modification of cellulose fibers with fatty acids, partially preserving the fiber structure, was investigated. The effect of reaction conditions, such as reaction time, fatty acid chain length, and solvent types (swelling and non swelling), on the extent of esterification and fiber properties was evaluated by elemental analysis, IR-ATR, X-ray diffraction, C-13 CPMAS NMR, contact angle measurement, thermogravimetry, and scanning electron microscopy. The degree of substitution (DS) increased with reaction time and with the swelling effect of the reaction medium and decreased with the fatty acids chain length. Higher the DS, higher is the decrystallization of cellulose as a result of the heterogeneous esterification reaction. The esterification with fatty acids enhanced the hydrophobic character of the fibers, but decreased their thermal stability. These properties are not strongly affected by the DS in the range investigated, viz. up to 1.4 (c) 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.




Polymer Science


Freire, CSR; Silvestre, AJD; Neto, CP; Belgacem, MN; Gandini, A

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