Cellulose Nanocomposites by Melt Compounding of TEMPO-Treated Wood Fibers in Thermoplastic Starch Matrix

Aline Cobut, Houssine Sehaqui, Lars A. Berglund


To facilitate melt compounding of cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) based composites, wood pulp fibers were subjected to a chemical treatment whereby the fibers were oxidized using 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl radical (TEMPO). This treatment introduced negatively charged carboxylate groups to the fibers. TEMPO-treated fibers (TempoF) were added to a mixture of amylopectin starch, glycerol, and water. Granules were prepared from this mixture and processed into CNF composites by extrusion. TempoF were easier to process into composites as compared with non-treated pulp fibers (PF). SEM revealed partial disintegration of TempoF during melt processing. Consequently, TempoF gave composites with much better mechanical properties than those of conventional composites prepared from pulp fibers and TPS. Particularly, at 20 wt% TempoF content in the composite, the modulus and strength were much improved. Such a continuous melt processing route, as an alternative to laboratory solvent casting techniques, may promote large-scale production of CNF-based composites as an environmentally friendly alternative to synthetic plastics/composites.


Cellulose nanofibrils; Thermoplastic starch; Extrusion; Mechanical properties; Nanocomposites

Full Text: PDF

Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022, hubbe@ncsu.edu; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, lucian.lucia@gmail.com URLs: bioresourcesjournal.com; http://ncsu.edu/bioresources ISSN: 1930-2126