, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 307–321 | Cite as

Glutaraldehyde crosslinking of arabinoxylan produced from corn ethanol residuals

Original Paper


This study investigated the possibility of substituting petroleum-based polymers with biopolymers for films and paper coatings. Arabinoxylan (AX) was extracted from distillers’ grains, a low-value corn ethanol byproduct, and modified through crosslinking with glutaraldehyde (GA) which was made into films and paper coatings. The effects of degree of substitution (DS) on film and coating properties of GA cross-linked AX, referred to as GAX, were investigated. The GAX films had markedly higher tensile strength, approximately 3 times higher than the unmodified AX films at low DS, with higher DS causing a negative effect on the film tensile strength. Compared to unmodified AX coating, paper coated with GAX also had significantly higher tensile index, presumably due to high adhesion between the coating and paper interface. When used as a coating binder with calcium carbonate pigments, GAX showed comparable performance to polyvinyl alcohol, a common industrial binder, demonstrating the potential to be substituted for the petroleum-based paper coating binder.


Arabinoxylan Degree of substitution Crosslinking Distillers’ grains Glutaraldehyde Paper coating Film Viscosity 





Arabinoxylose unit


Distillers’ grains


Degree of substitution




Glutaraldehyde crosslinked arabinoxylan


Modulus of elasticity



This work was supported by U.S. Department of Agriculture, under contract USDA Critical Agricultural Material Grant (2013-38202-20400). NMR experiments were carried out at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center funded by U.S. Department of Energy, the Office of Science (BER DE-FC02-07ER64494) and the Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI). Contact angle measurements were carried out at the University of Wisconsin Materials Research Science and Engineering Center funded by NSF (DMR-1121288). The authors gratefully acknowledge Dr. John Ralph and Dr. Dharshana Padmakshan for NMR analysis, Dr. Sundaram Gunasekaran for FTIR analysis, USDA Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) for paper optical property measurements, and Didion Milling Inc. for materials and valuable discussions.

Compliance with ethical standard

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing financial interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhouyang Xiang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Renil Anthony
    • 2
  • Wu Lan
    • 2
  • Troy Runge
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Pulp and Paper EngineeringSouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Biological Systems EngineeringUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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