Preparation of Agave tequilana Weber Nanocrystalline Cellulose and its Use as Reinforcement for Acrylic Hydrogels

Rosa María Jiménez-Amezcua, Robert Josep Villanueva-Silva, Ruben Octavio Muñoz-García, Emma Rebeca Macias-Balleza, Maria Thais Helena Sydenstricker Flores-Sahagun, María Guadalupe Lomelí-Ramírez, José Guillermo Torres-Rendón, Salvador Garcia-Enriquez


Nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) was prepared from Agave tequilana Weber blue variety via acid hydrolysis. The NCC was used in forming acrylic acid/acrylamide hydrogels (AA/AM), (80/20 w/w), crosslinked with N-N-methylene bisacrylamide (MBA) at addition levels of 1, 2, 4, and 8 wt% of the monomeric phase. The NCC was dosed at 0.1, 0.5, and 1.0 wt%. Two synthesis routes were used. In the first route, polymerization was performed immediately after mixing the components. In the second route, the mixture of the components was kept at 2 °C ± 1 °C for 24 h before the polymerization (thermal treatment). All the hydrogels were characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), water absorption tests, scanning electron microscope (SEM) analysis, and rheology tests. The NCC particles had a diameter of approximately 75 nm. The hydrogels that were subjected to the thermal treatment reached the equilibrium after approximately 72 h. The un-treated hydrogels reached the equilibrium after approximately 58 h. The thermally treated samples had a lower swelling degree and the swelling degree decreased as the crosslinking degree and the NCC concentration increased. The swelling kinetics followed the Schott´s pseudo-second-order.


Agave tequilana Weber var. azul; Hydrogels; Cellulose nanocrystals; NCC

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