Using inverse gas chromatography to measure processing effects on cellulose nanofibril surface energy
Publication Name: Journal of Colloid and Interface Science
Research and development of the renewable nanomaterial cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) has received considerable attention. The effect of drying on the surface energy of CNFs was investigated. Samples of nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) and cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) were each subjected to four separate drying methods: air-drying, freeze-drying, spray-drying, and supercritical-drying. The surface morphology of the dried CNFs was examined using a scanning electron microscope. The surface energy of the dried CNFs was determined using inverse gas chromatography at infinite dilution and column temperatures: 30, 40, 50, 55, and 60 ¡C. Surface energy measurements of supercritical-dried NFCs were performed also at column temperatures: 70, 75, and 80 ¡C. Different drying methods produced CNFs with different morphologies which in turn significantly influenced their surface energy. Supercritical-drying resulted in NFCs having a dispersion component of surface energy of 98.3 ± 5.8 mJ/m2 at 30 ¡C. The dispersion component of surface energy of freeze-dried NFCs (44.3 ± 0.4 mJ/m2 at 30 ¡C) and CNCs (46.5 ± 0.9 mJ/m2 at 30 ¡C) were the lowest among all the CNFs. The pre-freezing treatment during the freeze-drying process is hypothesized to have a major impact on the dispersion component of surface energy of the CNFs. The acid and base parameters of all the dried CNFs were amphoteric (acidic and basic) although predominantly basic in nature.