Chemical Modification of Kraft Cellulose Fibres: Influence of Pretreatment on Paper Properties

Houssein Awada, Pierre-Henri Elchinger, Pierre-Antoine Faugeras, Chouki Zerrouki, Daniel Montplaisir, Francois Brouillette, Rachida Zerrouki


Chemical modifications of cellulose fibres (kraft pulp) in NaOH/H2O and NaCl/H2O systems were investigated. Handsheets were prepared that contained 25% of the modified fibres. Changes in the modified samples were examined by measuring their mechanical and optical properties and comparing them to those made with unmodified fibres. The observed differences were explained and supported by structural analyses, by means of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). It was found that the NaOH/H2O pretreatment led to a significant deterioration of optical and strength properties of the handsheets. These modifications affected both the inner part of the crystalline cellulose (change from cellulose I to cellulose II) and the morphology of the fibers. Conversely, these properties slightly improved after propargylation, due to the propargyl functional groups. For the NaCl/H2O system, a significant enhancement of the mechanical properties of the handsheets was noted, such as an increase of up to 108% of the tear index. The propargylation further increased the tear index (by 157%). These enhancements were not accompanied by significant changes at both the micrometric and nanometric scales, except for the increase of the crystallinity index after propargylation.


Kraft pulp; Propargylation; New material; Polysaccharides

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,; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, URLs:; ISSN: 1930-2126