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01-10-2007 | Issue 5/2007

Cellulose 5/2007

Surface modification of cellulose with plant triglycerides for hydrophobicity

Journal:
Cellulose > Issue 5/2007
Authors:
Theresa A. Dankovich, You-Lo Hsieh

Abstract

Hydrophobic cotton was achieved by surface modification of the cellulose with triglycerides from several plant oils including soybean, rapeseed, olive and coconut oils. These oils were delivered to the cellulose substrates in homogeneous solutions of ethanol or acetone as well as aqueous emulsions. Surface modification was facilitated by solvent evaporation followed by heating between 110 and 120 °C for 60 min. All oils, except for coconut, produced hydrophobic and less water-absorbing cotton, supporting the desirable role of higher unsaturation in the fatty acids to achieve crosslinked network. The most hydrophobic surfaces were obtained by the reaction with 1% soybean oil in acetone. On both bleached and scoured cotton, a water contact angle of 80° and water absorption value of 0.82 μL/mg were achieved. The acquired hydrophobicity was not only retained after water washing but also improved with subsequent exposures to elevated temperatures. The surface tension of scoured cotton cellulose was lowered from 63.81 mJ/m2 to 25.74 mJ/m2 when modified by soybean oil delivered in acetone, which is lower than that of poly(ethylene terephthalate). An aqueous emulsion of soybean oil also rendered the scoured cotton hydrophobic, which shows promise for a green chemistry and bio-based approach to achieve water repellency on cellulosic materials.

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