We present wetting, hygroscopicity, and interfacial activity of hemicellulose with respect to etherification and contrast it to their potential as interfacial modifiers, which is demonstrated by oil-in-water emulsification containing up to 60 vol% of the oil phase. Tunable amphiphilicity of hardwood and softwood hemicelluloses, xylans, and galactoglucomannans, respectively, was accomplished via controlled etherification. A series of degree of substitution (DS) of hydroxypropylated and 3-butoxy-2-hydroxypropylated ("butylated") grades was synthesized. The hemicellulose ethers were characterized by gel permeation chromatography, spectroscopic techniques, such as NMR, and contact angle measurements. An attenuated total reflectance infrared method was developed for fast identification of the DS. Near infrared analysis was utilized to explore the hygroscopicity of the material and to perform principle component analysis. The modification to butylated grades decreased the hygroscopicity, whereas the hydroxypropylated grades bound moisture. All of the hemicellulose ethers were water-soluble. The interfacial tension of the aqueous hemicellulose solutions was determined by pendant-drop tensiometer, and it was demonstrated to be dependent on the degree of modification.
- hemicellulose ethers
- interfacial properties