Free radical graft copolymerization of nanofibrillated cellulose with acrylic monomers

Kuisma Littunen, Ulla Hippi, Leena Sisko Johansson, Monika Österberg, Tekla Tammelin, Janne Laine, Jukka Seppälä

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    162 Citations (Scopus)


    Nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) was graft copolymerized in aqueous suspension by a redox-initiated free radical method. Cerium ammonium nitrate was used as initiator. Acrylic monomers used in the grafting were glycidyl methacrylate, ethyl acrylate, methyl methacrylate, butyl acrylate, and 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate. Effects of monomer type and concentration, initiator concentration and polymerization time on grafting from NFC were studied. Grafting was verified by several chemical characterizations and the synthesis method was found to be both efficient and selective for grafting. Overall, graft yields were higher than those reported in studies with macroscopic cellulose but surprisingly independent of the water solubility of each monomer. All modifications made NFC more hydrophobic, and some also improved its heat resistance. The structures formed by the grafted polymer varied from a thin coating to a matrix completely surrounding the nanofibrils. By performing the grafting in aqueous suspension, the nanofibrillar structure was retained.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1039-1047
    Number of pages9
    JournalCarbohydrate Polymers
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2011
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Acrylates
    • Copolymerization
    • Grafting from
    • Methacrylates
    • Nanofibrillated cellulose


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