Cellulose Nanofibril (CNF) Films and Xylan from Hot Water Extracted Birch Kraft Pulps

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    The effects of xylan extraction from birch kraft pulp on the manufacture and properties of cellulose nanofibril (CNF) films were here investigated. Hot water extractions of bleached and unbleached kraft pulps were performed in a flow-through system to remove and recover the xylan. After the extraction, the pulps were oxidized with 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl radical (TEMPO) and fibrillated in a high-pressure microfluidizer. Compared to CNF from bleached kraft pulp, the CNF dispersions obtained from water-extracted pulps were less viscous and generally contained a higher amount of microfiber fragments, although smaller in size. In all cases, however, smooth and highly transparent films were produced from the CNF dispersions after the addition of sorbitol as plasticizer. The CNF films made from water-extracted pulps showed a lower tensile strength and ductility, probably due to their lower xylan content, but the stiffness was only reduced by the presence of lignin. Interestingly, the CNF films from water-extracted bleached pulps were less hydrophilic, and their water vapour permeability was reduced up to 25%. Therefore, hot water extraction of bleached birch kraft pulp could be used to produce CNF films with improved barrier properties for food packaging, while obtaining a high-purity xylan stream for other high-value applications.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number3436
    JournalApplied Sciences
    Issue number16
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • barrier properties
    • CNF film
    • hot water extraction
    • nanocellulose
    • xylan


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