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Free-radical formation in jute from argon plasma treatment

Sabharwal, H.S., Denes, F., Nielsen, L., Young, R.A.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 1993 v.41 no.11 pp. 2202-2207
argon (noble gases), jute, cellulose, lignin, plant fibers, free radicals, chemical reactions, lignocellulose, electric field
Ground jute (Corchorus capsularis), cellulose, ethanol lignin, and holocellulose from jute strands were treated with an argon plasma under various conditions to estimate the free-radical generation (ESR) and chemical changes (ESCA) at the surface of the various samples. The influences of radio frequency power, reaction time, and gas pressure during plasma irradiation were evaluated. On the basis of plasma treatments of isolated preparations, it was shown that lignin is the primary site of free-radical formation; however, the carbohydrate fraction also shows considerable relative free-radical intensity. The extractives appeared to inhibit free-radical formation. The stability of the plasma-generated free radicals under atmospheric conditions was also investigated by ESR. The experimental data suggest new possibilities for in situ and second-stage surface modification or grafting of lignocellulosic fibers for potential application to new composite materials.