Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/4/2014
Publication Date: 7/5/2014
Citation: Biswas, A., Kim, S., Cheng, H.N., Selling, G.W. 2014. Conversion of agricultural residues to carboxymethylcellulose and carboxymethylcellulose acetate. Industrial Crops and Products. 60(1):259-265.
Interpretive Summary: In view of continuing interest in the use of agricultural by-products, we have converted cellulose, wheat straw, barley straw, and rice hull into carboxymethylcellulose (CMC). By employing microwave technology, the synthesis of CMC was found to be improved with greatly reduced reaction times. This improved synthesis of CMC will find value in applications that are cost-sensitive. Examples of such applications include drilling muds, toothpaste, ice cream, detergents, and paints. Depending on the degree of substitution and reaction conditions, the CMC produced will have a range of properties which may be appealing to different end-users. The CMC thus obtained can be further modified to form carboxymethylcellulose acetate (CMC acetate). CMC acetate has been recently shown to have utility in filtration membranes for the purification of water and other fluids. It may also find utility as a functional filler in polymers, and as a thickener in food and personal care applications. The novel processes disclosed in this work will benefit industrial chemical manufacturers, among others, to save time and energy during the production of CMC or CMC acetate.
Technical Abstract: In view of continuing interest in the use of agricultural by-products, we have converted cellulose, wheat straw, barley straw, and rice hull into carboxymethylcellulose (CMC). Microwave-assisted synthesis was found to be a partly effective alternative to the conventional heating process. The CMC thus obtained can be acetylated to form carboxymethylcellulose acetate (CMC acetate). With variations in the degrees of substitution of carboxymethyl and acetate groups, a family of CMC acetate products can be made. The materials were characterized using standard techniques. The polymer may find applications as filtration membranes, functional fillers in polymers, and additives in commercial formulations.