Improved resistance of chemically-modified nanocellulose against thermally-induced depolymerization

Melissa B. Agustin (Corresponding Author), Fumiaki Nakatsubo, Hiroyuki Yano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The study demonstrated the improvement in the resistance of nanocellulose against thermally-induced depolymerization by esterification with benzoyl (BNZ) and pivaloyl (PIV). The change in the degree of polymerization (DP) and molecular weight distribution (MWD) after thermal treatment in nitrogen and in air was investigated using viscometry and gel permeation chromatography. BNZ and PIV nanocellulose esters without α-hydrogens gave higher DP and narrower MWD than pure bacterial cellulose; and the acetyl and myristoyl esters, which possess α-hydrogens. Results also showed that when depolymerization is suppressed, thermal discoloration is also reduced. Resistance against depolymerization inhibits the formation of reducing ends which can be active sites for thermal discoloration. Finally, the findings suggest that benzoylation and pivaloylation can be an excellent modification technique to improve the thermal stability of nanocellulose.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalCarbohydrate Polymers
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Bacterial cellulose esters
  • Molecular weight distribution
  • Thermally-induced depolymerization
  • α-hydrogen


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