The 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidin-1-oxyl (TEMPO) oxidation of cellulose, when mediated with Oxone® (KHSO5), can be performed simply and under mild conditions. Furthermore, the products of the reaction can be isolated into two major components: Oxone®-mediated TEMPO-oxidized cellulose nanomaterials Form I and Form II (OTO-CNM Form I and Form II). This study focuses on the characterization of the properties of OTO-CNMs. Nanoparticle-sized cellulose fibers of 5 and 16 nm, respectively, were confirmed through electron microscopy. Infrared spectroscopy showed that the most carboxylation presented in Form II. Conductometric titration showed a two-fold increase in carboxylation from Form I (800 mmol/kg) to Form II (1600 mmol/kg). OTO-CNMs showed cellulose crystallinity in the range of 64-68% and crystallite sizes of 1.4-3.3 nm, as shown through XRD. OTO-CNMs show controlled variability in hydrophilicity with contact angles ranging from 16 to 32°, within or below the 26-47° reported in the literature for TEMPO-oxidized CNMs. Newly discovered OTO-CNM Form II shows enhanced hydrophilic properties as well as unique crystallinity and chemical functionalization in the field of bio-sourced material and nanocomposites.
Keywords: TEMPO; cellulose; crystallinity; hydrophilicity; nanomaterials; oxone®.