Cellulose nanocrystals with rod, sphere, and network morphologies were prepared by acid hydrolysis of cotton cellulose, followed by freeze-drying. Hydrolysis with sulfuric acid introduced sulfate groups to these nanocrystal surfaces permitting their dispersion in aqueous as well as organic media, including ethanol and N,N-dimethylformamide, in a matter of seconds. Freeze-drying, on the other hand, induced mesoporosity (91.99 ± 2.57 average pore width) and significantly improved specific surface (13.362 m 2/g) that is about 9 times of the original cellulose (1.547 m 2/g). Moreover, the nanocrystals exhibited improved thermal conductivity and considerably higher (nearly 30%) carbonaceous residue, possibly due to direct solid-to-gas decomposition. These results demonstrated that a combination of surface charge introduction and fixation of mesoporosity in cellulose nanocrystals is an efficient route to prepare large quantity of high quality cellulose nanocrystals with quick re-dispersion capability for practical applications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry
- Polymers and Plastics
- Materials Chemistry