, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 1033–1041 | Cite as

Incorporation of carboxyl groups into xylan for improved absorbency

  • Abdus Salam
  • Joel J. Pawlak
  • Richard A. Venditti
  • Khaled El-tahlawy


The objective of this research was to investigate green, renewable reaction systems for xylan that introduce crosslinking and carbonyl group for improved performance in water absorption applications. Xylan was modified separately with three different reaction agents, citric acid, succinic anhydride and sodium monochloracetate (SMCA). The xylan was reacted with citric acid in the presence or absence of sodium hypophosphite (SHP) as a catalyst, both in a solution form and in a semi-dry form in an oven. Acid–base titrations, FTIR, TGA, and DSC were used to confirm the composition of the reactant products. Reacted xylan had significantly increased carboxyl content, degree of esterification and degree of substitution with citric acid, succinic anhydride, and sodium monochloracetate. Effective reaction conditions were determined for high yield products. For the xylan reacted with citric acid, the catalyst (SHP) and the use of a semi-dry reaction condition increased the yield significantly. Succinic anhydride and SMCA had high yields. The reaction trends observed were consistent with similar results for starch. Increases in water absorption, saline solution absorption, and decreases in water contact angle for the xylan citrate relative to the xylan indicate that high carboxyl content materials can be generated with xylan and that the resulting materials have enhanced water affinity.


Hemicellulose Xylan Citric acid Carboxyl content Water absorbency 



This research project was funded by the Consortium for Plant Biotechnology, the United States Department of Energy (DE-FG36-02GO12026) and the North Carolina Forestry Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abdus Salam
    • 1
  • Joel J. Pawlak
    • 1
  • Richard A. Venditti
    • 1
  • Khaled El-tahlawy
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Forest BiomaterialsNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  2. 2.Department of Textile Engineering Chemistry and ScienceNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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