Xerocellulose: lightweight, porous and hydrophobic cellulose prepared via ambient drying
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Low density, highly porous and hydrophobic cellulose-based new material, Xerocellulose, was prepared and characterised. First, tritylcellulose with different degrees of substitution (DS) was synthesised in homogeneous conditions. Xerocellulose was then prepared from tritylcellulose via dissolution–coagulation–drying route, similar to other polysaccharide-based aerogels, but drying was performed in ambient room conditions. The new material has a density between 0.1 and 0.2 g/cm3 and is highly hydrophobic with contact angle 140° for DS = 0.72. Compared with cellulose aerogel and pristine microcrystalline cellulose, Xerocellulose obtained from tritylcellulose with DS = 0.72 showed a drastically decreased water vapour uptake. The evolution of Xerocellulose density and morphology as a function of the DS is presented and discussed.
KeywordsCellulose Contact Angle Microcrystalline Cellulose Cellulose Chain Cellulose Whisker
Part of research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under Grant Agreement No 260141. Part of this work was financed by ADEME (France) in the frame of Silica-Cell project. Authors gratefully acknowledge the help of Suzanne Jacomet (CEMEF, Mines ParisTech) in SEM experiments, Gabriel Monge (CEMEF, Mines ParisTech) for performing XRD experiments and Pierre Ilbizian (PERSEE, Mines ParisTech) for supercritical drying.
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