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Effects of modified nanocrystalline cellulose on the hydrophilicity, crystallization and mechanical behaviors of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate)

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Abstract

Fine dispersion of nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) in a bacterially synthesized poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate) (PHBH) matrix is challenging due to their incompatibility. To improve their compatibility, NCC was first grafted with PHBH, marked as NCC-g-PHBH, using (3-aminopropyl)triethoxysilane (APES) as a coupling agent, leading to a grafting degree of ∼25 wt%. The grafting mechanism and the mechanical and crystallization behaviors of the PHBH/NCC-g-PHBH blends, prepared via solution casting, were systematically investigated. The NCC was uniformly dispersed in the PHBH matrix after grafting with PHBH. As a consequence, the mechanical and crystallization properties of the PHBH were greatly improved in the presence of the NCC-g-PHBH. With the addition of 1.0 wt% NCC-g-PHBH, the Young's modulus of the PHBH/NCC-g-PHBH blend was increased by 15%, which is further evaluated by the Halpin–Tsai model, while the surface contact angles decreased by 30°. Furthermore, the presence of NCC-g-PHBH copolymers greatly increased the nuclei density and decreased the spherulite size of PHBH without changing the crystal structures. Therefore, this work provided a novel route to prepare fully biodegradable and bio-based PHBH nanocomposites, which may broaden the application range of PHBH.

Graphical abstract: Effects of modified nanocrystalline cellulose on the hydrophilicity, crystallization and mechanical behaviors of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate)

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Apr 2018, accepted on 03 Jun 2018 and first published on 07 Jun 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8NJ02012D
Citation: New J. Chem., 2018, Advance Article
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    Effects of modified nanocrystalline cellulose on the hydrophilicity, crystallization and mechanical behaviors of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate)

    P. Xu, Y. Cao, B. Wu, P. Ma, W. Dong, H. Bai, H. Zhang, H. Zhu and M. Chen, New J. Chem., 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8NJ02012D

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