Industrial Crops and Products
Low-density foams based on nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) made from Pinus massonianesoftwood pulp were prepared from NFC aqueous suspensions containing one of four C2–C4alcohols followed by freeze-drying, with the goal of controlling their pore structure and reducing the shrink rate. The foams prepared from NFC suspensions containing ethanol, isopropanol and n-butanol exhibited highly porous structures with a honeycomb-like cellular texture featuring well-defined “cell walls” between the layers. By contrast, the tert-butanol/NFC foam featured a higher number of smaller size pores with irregular shape. The foams prepared by freezing at −196 °C with ethanol also revealed small size pores, with no layered pore structure. The results obtained suggested that freeze-drying could be used to control the key foam parameters by adding different alcohols into an NFC suspension and adjusting the freezing temperature. Combining the obtained information, a possible formation mechanism was proposed. The microstructure, density, porosity, shrinkage, mechanical properties and thermal properties of NFC foams were determined. The obtained NFC foams feature low shrinkage upon formation and thermal conductivity. Smaller Young’s modulus and energy absorption yet similar yield stress values compared to the blank indicate that the freeze-drying in the presence of alcohols tends to generate “soft” foams.
First published in Industrial Crops and Products.
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Li, Jinbao; Song, Te; Xiu, Huijuan; Zhang, Meiyun; Cheng, Rui; Liu, Qiang; Zhang, Xuefei; Kozliak, Evguenii; and Ji, Yun, "Foam materials with controllable pore structure prepared from nanofibrillated cellulose with addition of alcohols" (2018). Chemical Engineering Faculty Publications. 8.
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