Aqueous pretreatment for reactive ball milling of cellulose
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Aqueous swelling pretreatment of cellulose was found highly effective for reactive ball milling to prepare surface-esterified cellulose nanofibers. Compared with starting from dry cellulose, water- or 2 % NaOH-pre-swollen materials were esterified and dispersed in significantly shorter milling time. Especially commercial kraft pulp was difficult to disperse even with water pretreatment, but 2 % NaOH treatment gave full surface esterification with a bulk degree of substitution of 0.69 by 12-h ball milling, presumably because of removal of non-cellulosic components.
KeywordsCellulose nanofiber Aqueous pretreatment Reactive ball milling Mechanochemistry
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (nos. 51043003, 51172247, 50821062 and 50773086), the National Program on Key Basic Research Project (973 Program, Nn. 2011CB933700) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences Visiting Professorships.