, Volume 26, Issue 10, pp 6119–6132 | Cite as

How properties of cellulose acetate films are affected by conditions of iodine-catalyzed acetylation and type of pulp

  • Rahim YadollahiEmail author
  • Mohammadreza Dehghani Firouzabadi
  • Hossein Mahdavi
  • Ahmadreza Saraeyan
  • Hossein Resalati
  • Kirsi S. Mikkonen
  • Herbert Sixta
Original Research


The present study has been carried out to consider the effect of acetylation conditions and type of bleached pulps [Kraft and SO2–ethanol–water (SEW) pulps] on the properties of obtained cellulose acetates (CA) and their films. The acetylation reaction in the absence of solvent was performed by using acetic anhydride and iodine as a catalyst. The efficiency of acetylation and the degree of substitution, crystallinity, transparency, tensile strength, young modulus, differential scanning calorimetry, water vapor permeability (WVP), scanning electron microscope and atomic force microscopy images were studied. The results showed that the while the Young’s modulus and transparency increased by up to 8% of the catalyst due to the increase in iodine charge; higher iodine levels led to embrittlement of the film. The increase in the ratio of acetic anhydride to pulp (A:P) from 10:1 to 20:1 with 4% catalyst led to a reduction of the DS by 8–10%, the crystallinity by 25%, the Young’s modulus by 13–25%, and transparency by 1–34% of a CA obtained from SEW and Kraft pulp, respectively. With the use of higher amounts of the catalyst (8%) and a ratio of A:P equal to 20:1, all properties of CA were suitable for film preparation. WVP of films from Kraft pulp and SEW pulp showed a decrease of about 8.5% and 18% respectively when increasing the iodine amount from 4 to 8% in acetylation. The tensile strength of CA films was initially increased by enhancing the amount of iodine, but then reduced in a similar way to other properties. The condition of acetylation can be adjusted to produce a high-quality CA film according to the characteristics of the pulp used as raw material.

Graphical abstract


Acetylation Iodine Substitution degree Transparency Young modulus 



The authors would like to acknowledge the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology of Iran (Grant No. 215549) for their financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Wood and Paper EngineeringGorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural ResourcesGorgānIran
  2. 2.School of Chemistry, College of ScienceUniversity of TehranTehranIran
  3. 3.Departments of Wood and Paper Science and EngineeringSari Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources UniversitySariIran
  4. 4.Department of Food and NutritionUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  5. 5.Department of Forest Products Technology, School of Chemical TechnologyAalto UniversityEspooFinland

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