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01.06.2015 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 3/2015 Open Access

Cellulose 3/2015

Development of cardanol-bonded cellulose thermoplastics: high productivity achieved in two-step heterogeneous process

Zeitschrift:
Cellulose > Ausgabe 3/2015
Autoren:
Kiyohiko Toyama, Makoto Soyama, Shukichi Tanaka, Masatoshi Iji

Abstract

We developed a heterogeneous process with low energy consumption to synthesize novel high-strength and heat-resistant cellulose-based bioplastics: cellulose esters bonded with a short chain component (acetic acid) and a long one (3-pentadecylphenoxy acetic acid; PAA), which is a derivative of cardanol, extracted from cashew nut shells. Although we recently showed that PAA-bonded cellulose acetates (cardanol-bonded cellulose resins) exhibit highly practical properties for durable products, they were synthesized in a homogeneous process, which requires large quantities of poor solvents to isolate the resins. In the developed two-step heterogeneous process, the cardanol-bonded cellulose resins are produced without poor solvents. In the first step, cellulose is esterified with limited amounts of the long and short chain components using a selected reaction solvent and catalyst. The resultant intermediate products are adequately swollen in the solvent then efficiently recovered by filtration. In the second step, the short chain component is additionally bonded to attain good thermoplasticity of the final products, which are readily recovered only by distilling a solvent and the remaining short chain component. The solvent usage was reduced by approximately 90 % compared with a homogeneous process, which leads to a large reduction in energy. The produced cardanol-bonded cellulose resins exhibited higher thermoplasticity, elastic modulus, water resistivity, and close heat resistivity compared to that of a homogeneous process. Furthermore, the mechanical and thermal characteristics of the resins were greatly improved by adding a specific polyester, polybutylene succinate adipate, and glass fiber, reaching high-level target properties for durable products.

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