Preparation of Cellulose Nanocrystals by Synergistic Action of Ionic Liquid and Recyclable Solid Acid under Mild Conditions

Molecules. 2023 Mar 30;28(7):3070. doi: 10.3390/molecules28073070.


Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) are nanoscale particles made from cellulose. They have many unique properties such as being lightweight, stiff, and renewable, making them promising for a variety of applications in a wide range of industries, including materials science, energy storage, and biomedicine. In this paper, a two-stage (swelling-SA-catalyzed) method including IL pretreatment and solid acid hydrolysis process was developed to extract CNCs with high purity and good thermal stability from microcrystalline cellulose (MCC). In the first stage, the swelling of MCC in ionic liquid was studied with the assistance of ultrasonication, and it was found that the amorphous regions became more disordered while the crystalline areas were selectively retained under the conditions of 30 min of reaction time, 45 °C of temperature, 2% of ionic liquid water content and 1:4 mass ratio of cellulose to ionic liquid. CNCs were extracted using solid acid hydrolysis, with a 45 wt% solid acid to cellulose ratio and a 5.0 h hydrolysis process at 45 °C. The morphology, crystallinity, surface characteristics and thermo stability of the sample were characterized by atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), respectively. Results demonstrated the highly thermostable CNCs were successful extracted with rodlike shape of 300 ± 100 nm in length and 20 ± 10 nm in width. Solid acid recovery and reuse were also studied, revealing a promising candidate that can reduce the environmental impact associated with chemical products.

PMID:37049833 | PMC:PMC10096307 | DOI:10.3390/molecules28073070


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