Surface energy of cellulosic materials: The effect of particle morphology, particle size, and hydroxyl number
Understanding the surface properties of cellulose materials is important for proper commercial applications. The effect of particle size, particle morphology, and hydroxyl number on the surface energy of three microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) preparations and one nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) preparation were investigated using inverse gas chromatography at column temperatures ranging from 30°C to 60°C. The mean particle sizes for the three MCC samples and the NFC sample were 120.1, 62.3, 13.9, and 9.3 μm. The corresponding dispersion components of surface energy at 30°C were 55.7 ± 0.1, 59.7 ± 1.3, 71.7 ± 1.0, and 57.4 ± 0.3 mJ/m2. MCC samples are agglomerates of small individual cellulose particles. The different particle sizes and morphologies of the three MCC samples resulted in various hydroxyl numbers, which in turn affected their dispersion component of surface energy. Cellulose samples exhibiting a higher hydroxyl number have a higher dispersion component of surface energy. The dispersion component of surface energy of all the cellulose samples decreased linearly with increasing temperature. MCC samples with larger agglomerates had a lower temperature coefficient of dispersion component of surface energy.