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Sulfoethylated nanofibrillated cellulose: Production and properties

Sulfoethylated nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC Sulf) was produced by an industrially relevant process.  The properties of the NFCsulf were compared with those of carboxymethylated nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC Carb), which has been identified as an attractive NFC for several industrial applications.  The investigations revealed that NFC Sulf is characterized by a higher degree of fibrillation and has superior redispersion properties.  Furthermore, NFC Sulf displays higher stability in varying pH values as compared to NFC Carb.  Hence, NFC Sulf may be a more attractive alternative than NFC Carb in applications such as rheological modifiers or adsorbing components in personal care products, in which the performance of NFC must remain unaffected in varying ambient conditions.

The superior properties of NFC Sulf compared to NFC Carb were proposed to be due to the combination of the unique chemical characteristics of the sulfoethylated reagent, and the larger size of the sulfonate group compared to the carboxymethyl group.

*Naderi A, Koschella A, Heinze T, Shih K, Nieh M, Pfeifer A, Chang C, Erlandsson J. Carbohydrate Polymers 2017; 169:515