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Indirect evidence of supramolecular changes within cellulose microfibrils of chemical pulp fibers upon drying
- Kontturi, Eero, Vuorinen, Tapani
- Cellulose 2009 v.16 no.1 pp. 65-74
- acid hydrolysis, cellulose, chemical pulp, crystals, drying, image analysis, nanocrystals, pulp fiber, sulfuric acid
- Dried and never-dried chemical pulps were subjected to strong sulfuric acid hydrolysis and the dimensions of the resulting cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) were characterized by AFM image analysis. Although the average length of CNCs was fairly similar in all samples (55-65 nm), the length distribution histograms revealed that a higher number of longer crystals and a lower number of shorter crystals were present in the CNC suspensions prepared from never-dried pulps. The distinction was hypothetically ascribed to tensions building in individual cellulose microfibrils upon drying, resulting in irreversible supramolecular changes in the amorphous regions. The amorphous regions shaped by tensions were deemed as more susceptible to acid hydrolysis.