Effect of cellulose nanocrystals on the crystallization behavior and enzymatic degradation of poly(butylene adipate)
Abstract Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) are nature-resourced nanoparticles and have been widely used to improve performance of biodegradable polyesters. Two types of CNCs respectively prepared by sulphuric acid hydrolysis ( a CNCs) and ammonium persulfate oxidation ( o CNCs) processes were incorporated into poly(butylene adipate) (PBA) matrix to regulate its crystallization behavior and enzymatic degradation performance. Thermal and X-ray diffraction analysis revealed that both a CNCs and o CNCs could promote the crystallization ability and lamellar thickening of α-form PBA, while o CNCs showed stronger promotion than a CNCs. Optical morphology study indicated that both two types of CNCs enhanced the nucleation ability of PBA. Furthermore, the mechanism of crystallization promotion of CNCs on PBA was further discussed and attributed to the “memory effect” in the melt state of PBA/CNCs composites, which was originated from the hydrogen-bonding interaction between CNCs and PBA chains. The enzymatic degradation testing proved that CNCs could slower down degradation rate of PBA and PBA/ o CNCs composites possessed lower degradation rate than PBA/ a CNCs composites. Highlights The a CNCs and o CNCs were prepared by hydrolysis and oxidation methods, respectively. Both CNCs enhanced the crystallization ability and lowered the degradation rate of PBA. The o CNCs showed better crystallization promoting effect for PBA than a CNCs. The o CNCs showed stronger effect on reducing enzymatic degradation rate of PBA than a CNCs.
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