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Title: Tailoring the yield and characteristics of wood cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) using concentrated acid hydrolysis

Author: Chen, Liheng; Wang, Qianqian; Hirth, Kolby; Baez, Carlos; Agarwal, Umesh P.; Zhu, J. Y.;

Date: 2015

Source: Cellulose

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) have recently received much attention in the global scientific community for their unique mechanical and optical properties. Here, we conducted the first detailed exploration of the basic properties of CNC, such as morphology, crystallinity, degree of sulfation and yield, as a function of production condition variables. The rapid cellulose depolymerization and sulfation reactions under concentrated acid concentrations of around 60 wt% resulted in a very narrow operating window for CNC production. We found that CNC yields as high as 70 wt% from a bleached eucalyptus kraft pulp with glucan content of 78 wt% can be achieved under a tight range of reaction conditions and that a weighted average length of over 200 nm and sulfur content (a measure of CNC surface charge) between 3 and 10 mg/g can be produced. This study provided critical knowledge for the production of CNC with characteristics tailored for different specific applications, significant to commercialization.

Keywords: Cellulose nanocrystals (CNC), Crystallinity, Crystal length and morphology, Surface charge, CNC yield optimization, Concentrated acid hydrolysis, Cellulose nanocrystals (CNC), Crystallinity, Crystal length and morphology, Surface charge, CNC yield optimization, Concentrated acid hydrolysis

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

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Chen, Liheng; Wang, Qianqian; Hirth, Kolby; Baez, Carlos; Agarwal, Umesh P.; Zhu, J. Y. 2015. Tailoring the yield and characteristics of wood cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) using concentrated acid hydrolysis. Cellulose. 22(3): 1753-1762.

 


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