Manufacturing of Hydrogels from Never-Dried Microcrystalline Cellulose by High-Pressure Mechanical Treatment

Annina Lahdeniemi, Kari Mikael Vanhatalo, Olli Dahl

Abstract


Microcrystalline cellulose-based hydrogels were made using never-dried MCC (AaltoCellTM) as a raw material for a high-pressure mechanical treatment consisting of one to five passes at 700 bars. The effects of the mechanical treatment on the crystalline structure, morphology, geometrical dimensions, and specific surface area as well as rheological properties of the manufactured cellulose gel product were investigated. The results indicated that the process detached part of the crystalline area of the cellulose, resulting in loose particle architecture, increased surface area and porosity, and thus more accessible and reactive material. Due to the creation of the new internal surface area and porosity, more hydrogen bonds were formed between the cellulose particles, consequently creating more stable cellulose hydrogel-like slurries. The properties of the produced hydrogels were greatly influenced by the number of the treatment passes through the process equipment. Several passes through the process produced stronger cellulose hydrogels capable of retaining more water.

Keywords


Microcrystalline cellulose; MCC; Cellulose mechanical treatment; Dispersionizer; Cellulose hydrogel; Never-dried MCC; High-pressure treatment

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