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Preparation and Characterization of Xylan Derivatives and Their Blends

Cheng, H. N., Ford, Catrina, Kolpak, Francis J., Wu, Qinglin
Journal of polymers and the environment 2018 v.26 no.10 pp. 4114-4123
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, cotton, derivatization, dry strength, electrolytes, gel chromatography, molecular weight, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, paper, raw materials, rheology, thermal analysis, wood, xylan
Although hemicellulose is found widely in nature, it is currently under-utilized as a raw material for commercial applications. It would be desirable to find new uses for hemicellulose in order to add value to this agro-based material. A common type of hemicellulose is xylan, which is found in a number of wood species and in cotton. In this work we prepared cationic and anionic xylan derivatives and characterized them by ¹³C NMR, FT-IR, size exclusion chromatography (SEC), thermal analysis, and rheology. In particular, the ¹³C NMR spectra of carboxymethyl xylan (CMX) and quaternary ammonium-adducted xylan (QAX) were fully assigned with the help of samples with different degrees of substitution. SEC indicated that the beechwood xylan showed a bimodal molecular weight distribution, but with derivatization the distribution tended to become unimodal. Thermal analysis and rheology studies did not uncover any surprises; the solution of xylan and its derivatives exhibited mostly Newtonian behavior. The blends of CMX and QAX produced a precipitate at almost all ratios, indicating the formation of a polyelectrolyte complex. When cationic and anionic xylan samples were added together to paper, the paper dry strength increased. Thus, the combination of cationic/anionic xylan may be of interest in selected applications.