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Porous cationic cellulose beads prepared by homogeneous in-situ quaternization and acid induced regeneration for water/moisture absorption.

Carbohydrate Polymers 2024 September 16
Chemical modification is a reliable and efficient strategy for designing cellulose-based functional materials. Herein, porous quaternized cellulose beads (QCBs) as cationic superabsorbent were fabricated by homogeneous in-situ chemical grafting cellulose molecular chains with glycidyl trimethylammonium chloride (GTAC) in tetraethylammonium hydroxide (TEAOH)/urea aqueous solution followed by acetic acid induced regeneration. The influence of GTAC dosage on the physicochemical-structural properties of cationic QCBs was deeply investigated. Results revealed that cotton liner could well-dissolved in TEAOH/urea aqueous solution, leading to a homogeneous and efficient quaternization medium for cellulose, thereby giving the high DS and positive charge density for quaternized cellulose. NMR results demonstrated the main substitution of GTAC groups at 2-OH and 6-OH positions of the cellulose chains during quaternization reaction. With increasing GTAC dosage, the network skeleton of QCBs gradually transformed from thick fibrils to thin aggregates, as well as enhanced pore volumes and hydrophilicity. Accordingly, QCBs-1.5 with high pore volume (99.70 cm3 /g) exhibited excellent absorption capacity and efficiency, absorbing 122.32 g of water and 0.45 g of moisture per gram of the beads in 20 min. This work not only offers a simple strategy for the homogeneous quaternization modification of cellulose, but also provides a porous cellulose-based cationic superabsorbent material.

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