New Advances in the Structure, Performance and Chemical Functionalization of Cellulose

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomacromolecules, Biobased and Biodegradable Polymers".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (5 May 2024) | Viewed by 4032

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Wood, Cellulose and Paper, University of Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Mexico
Interests: chemical modification of natural polymers; bacterial cellulose; zwitterionic functionalization of cellulose and starch; solid-state NMR; chemical structure and interactions in biopolymers and materials; dye adsorption in ionic cellulose devices; hybrid materials; chemical compatibilization of cellulose

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cellulose is one of the most widely used natural polymers in the development of bio-based materials due to its clear advantages, such as renewability, profitability, and undeniable intrinsic chemical and physical properties. According to the new trends in cellulose research, these characteristics can be manipulated through culture conditions in bacterial cellulose or chemical functionalization of its OH groups in commercial cellulose from wood or cotton. Any change in cellulose confers novel properties that are suitable for achieving enhanced or a wider variety of applications.

Nowadays, this polysaccharide has a broader scope of applications related to medicine and pharmacy (i.e., biomaterials such as scaffolds and drug delivery devices), biotechnology, the environment (i.e., enzyme and cell immobilization, removal of hazardous waste from aqueous media), chemistry and physical chemistry (i.e., adhesives and separation devices), material design (i.e., biocomposites and membranes), etc.

This Special Issue, entitled "New Advances in the Structure, Performance and Chemical Functionalization of Cellulose," is open to contributions that address the most recent cellulose research in terms of cellulose functionalization; bacterial cellulose; chemical and structural modification and characterization; moiety interactions in modified cellulose; and its application as biodegradable materials and biomaterials, in separation devices, and in biocomposites.

Dr. Ricardo Manríquez-González
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • cellulose functionalization
  • ionic and zwitterionic cellulose
  • cellulose in biomaterials
  • cellulose as an adsorbent
  • bacterial cellulose
  • separation devices
  • chemical and structural characterization
  • structural modification
  • moiety interactions in modified cellulose
  • cellulose in biocomposites.

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 20516 KiB  
Article
Biodegradable Biocomposite of Starch Films Cross-Linked with Polyethylene Glycol Diglycidyl Ether and Reinforced by Microfibrillated Cellulose
by María M. González-Pérez, María G. Lomelí-Ramírez, Jorge R. Robledo-Ortiz, José A. Silva-Guzmán and Ricardo Manríquez-González
Polymers 2024, 16(9), 1290; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16091290 - 4 May 2024
Viewed by 515
Abstract
Biopolymers are biodegradable and renewable and can significantly reduce environmental impacts. For this reason, biocomposites based on a plasticized starch and cross-linker matrix and with a microfibrillated OCC cardboard cellulose reinforcement were developed. Biocomposites were prepared by suspension casting with varied amounts of [...] Read more.
Biopolymers are biodegradable and renewable and can significantly reduce environmental impacts. For this reason, biocomposites based on a plasticized starch and cross-linker matrix and with a microfibrillated OCC cardboard cellulose reinforcement were developed. Biocomposites were prepared by suspension casting with varied amounts of microfibrillated cellulose: 0, 4, 8, and 12 wt%. Polyethylene glycol diglycidyl ether (PEGDE) was used as a cross-linking, water-soluble, and non-toxic agent. Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) from OCC cardboard showed appropriate properties and potential for good performance as a reinforcement. In general, microfiber incorporation and matrix cross-linking increased crystallization, reduced water adsorption, and improved the physical and tensile properties of the plasticized starch. Biocomposites cross-linked with PEGDE and reinforced with 12 wt% MFC showed the best properties. The chemical and structural changes induced by the cross-linking of starch chains and MFC reinforcement were confirmed by FTIR, NMR, and XRD. Biodegradation higher than 80% was achieved for most biocomposites in 15 days of laboratory compost. Full article
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12 pages, 3500 KiB  
Article
Study of Cellulose Dissolution in ZnO/NaOH/Water Solvent Solution and Its Temperature-Dependent Effect Using Molecular Dynamics Simulation
by Lamiae Bourassi, Meriem El Mrani, Mohammed Merzouki, Rania Abidi, Haytham Bouammali, Boufelja Bouammali, Larbi Elfarh, Rachid Touzani, Allal Challioui and Mohamed Siaj
Polymers 2024, 16(9), 1211; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16091211 - 26 Apr 2024
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Abstract
Cellulose is a biopolymer with numerous advantages that make it an ecological, economical, and high-performing choice for various applications. To fully exploit the potential of cellulose, it is often necessary to dissolve it, which poses a current challenge. The aqueous zinc oxide/sodium hydroxide [...] Read more.
Cellulose is a biopolymer with numerous advantages that make it an ecological, economical, and high-performing choice for various applications. To fully exploit the potential of cellulose, it is often necessary to dissolve it, which poses a current challenge. The aqueous zinc oxide/sodium hydroxide (ZnO/NaOH/Water) system is a preferred solvent for its rapid dissolution, non-toxicity, low cost, and environmentally friendly nature. In this context, the behavior of cellulose chains in the aqueous solution of ZnO/NaOH and the impact of temperature on the solubility of this polymer were examined through a molecular dynamics simulation. The analysis of the root means square deviation (RMSD), interaction energy, hydrogen bond curves, and radial distribution function revealed that cellulose is insoluble in the ZnO/NaOH solvent at room temperature (T = 298 K). Decreasing the temperature in the range of 273 K to 268 K led to a geometric deformation of cellulose chains, accompanied by a decrease in the number of interchain hydrogen bonds over the simulation time, thus confirming the solubility of cellulose in this system between T = 273 K and T = 268 K. Full article
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14 pages, 3343 KiB  
Article
Cellulose Nitrates-Blended Composites from Bacterial and Plant-Based Celluloses
by Yulia A. Gismatulina and Vera V. Budaeva
Polymers 2024, 16(9), 1183; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16091183 - 23 Apr 2024
Viewed by 521
Abstract
Cellulose nitrates (CNs)-blended composites based on celluloses of bacterial origin (bacterial cellulose (BC)) and plant origin (oat-hull cellulose (OHC)) were synthesized in this study for the first time. Novel CNs-blended composites made of bacterial and plant-based celluloses with different BC-to-OHC mass ratios of [...] Read more.
Cellulose nitrates (CNs)-blended composites based on celluloses of bacterial origin (bacterial cellulose (BC)) and plant origin (oat-hull cellulose (OHC)) were synthesized in this study for the first time. Novel CNs-blended composites made of bacterial and plant-based celluloses with different BC-to-OHC mass ratios of 70/30, 50/50, and 30/70 were developed and fully characterized, and two methods were employed to nitrate the initial BC and OHC, and the three cellulose blends: the first method involved the use of sulfuric–nitric mixed acids (MAs), while the second method utilized concentrated nitric acid in the presence of methylene chloride (NA + MC). The CNs obtained using these two nitration methods were found to differ between each other, most notably, in viscosity: the samples nitrated with NA + MC had an extremely high viscosity of 927 mPa·s through to the formation of an immobile transparent acetonogel. Irrespective of the nitration method, the CN from BC (CN BC) was found to exhibit a higher nitrogen content than the CN from OHC (CN OHC), 12.20–12.32% vs. 11.58–11.60%, respectively. For the starting BC itself, all the cellulose blends of the starting celluloses and their CNs were detected using the SEM technique to have a reticulate fiber nanostructure. The cellulose samples and their CNs were detected using the IR spectroscopy to have basic functional groups. TGA/DTA analyses of the starting cellulose samples and the CNs therefrom demonstrated that the synthesized CN samples were of high purity and had high specific heats of decomposition at 6.14–7.13 kJ/g, corroborating their energy density. The CN BC is an excellent component with in-demand energetic performance; in particular, it has a higher nitrogen content while having a stable nanostructure. The CN BC was discovered to have a positive impact on the stability, structure, and energetic characteristics of the composites. The presence of CN OHC can make CNs-blended composites cheaper. These new CNs-blended composites made of bacterial and plant celluloses are much-needed in advanced, high-performance energetic materials. Full article
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13 pages, 2786 KiB  
Article
Photocrosslinkable Cellulose Derivatives for the Manufacturing of All-Cellulose-Based Architectures
by Maximilian Rothammer and Cordt Zollfrank
Polymers 2024, 16(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16010009 - 19 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1332
Abstract
Replacing petroleum-based polymers with biopolymers such as polysaccharides is essential for protecting our environment by saving fossil resources. A research field that can benefit from the application of more sustainable and renewable materials is photochemistry. Therefore, cellulose-based photoresists that could be photocrosslinked via [...] Read more.
Replacing petroleum-based polymers with biopolymers such as polysaccharides is essential for protecting our environment by saving fossil resources. A research field that can benefit from the application of more sustainable and renewable materials is photochemistry. Therefore, cellulose-based photoresists that could be photocrosslinked via UV irradiation (λ = 254 nm and λ = 365 nm) were developed. These biogenic polymers enable the manufacturing of sustainable coatings, even with imprinted microstructures, and cellulose-based bulk materials. Thus, herein, cellulose was functionalized with organic compounds containing carbon double bonds to introduce photocrosslinkable side groups directly onto the cellulose backbone. Therefore, unsaturated anhydrides such as methacrylic acid anhydride and unsaturated and polyunsaturated carboxylic acids such as linoleic acid were utilized. Additionally, these cellulose derivatives were modified with acetate or tosylate groups to generate cellulose-based polymers, which are soluble in organic solvents, making them suitable for multiple processing methods, such as casting, printing and coating. The photocurable resist was basically composed of the UV-crosslinkable biopolymer, an appropriate solvent and, if necessary, a photoinitiator. Moreover, these bio-based photoresists were UV-crosslinkable in the liquid and solid states after the removal of the solvent. Further, the manufactured cellulose-based architectures, even the bulk structures, could be entirely regenerated into pure cellulose devices via a sodium methoxide treatment. Full article
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