Dispersion stability and aggregation behavior of TEMPO-oxidized cellulose nanofibrils in water as a function of salt addition
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Dispersion stability of TEMPO-oxidized cellulose nanofibrils (TOCNs) in water was investigated through both experimental and theoretical analyses to elucidate the critical aggregation concentration of different salts. The 0.1 wt% TOCN/water dispersions with various NaCl concentrations were evaluated by measuring light transmittance, viscosity under steady-shear flow, and the weight fraction of TOCN that had aggregated. Homogeneous TOCN/water dispersion turned to gel as the NaCl concentration increased. The TOCN dispersion maintained its homogeneous state up to 50 mM NaCl, but aggregated gel particles were formed at 100 mM NaCl. The mixture became separated into two phases (gel and supernatant) at ≥200 mM NaCl. Theoretical analysis using ζ-potentials of TOCN elements in the dispersions revealed that the aggregation behavior upon NaCl addition could be explained well in terms of the interaction potential energy between two cylindrical rods based on the Derjaguin–Landau–Verwey–Overbeek theory. The experiments were extended to analyze critical aggregation concentrations of MgCl2 and CaCl2 for the 0.1 wt% TOCN dispersion. In the case of divalent electrolytes, TOCN elements began to form aggregated gel particles at salt concentrations of 2–4 mM, corresponding to the critical aggregation concentration predicted by the empirical Schultz-Hardy rule.
KeywordsTEMPO-oxidized cellulose nanofibril DLVO theory Critical aggregation concentration Schulz–Hardy rule
This research was supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Grants 21228007 and 25-7327) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). We thank Associate Prof. Jun Araki of Shinshu University for helpful advice concerning theoretical calculations.
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