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Pintiaux, T., Laourine, F., Vacamedina, G., Rouilly, A., and Peydecastaing, J. (2015). "Hydrophobic cellulose-based materials obtained by uniaxial high pressure compression: In-situ esterification with fatty acids and fatty anhydrides," BioRes. 10(3), 4626-4640.


High-pressure molding at an elevated temperature was investigated as a potential technique for performing the esterification of octanoïc acid and octanoïc anhydride on cellulose and miscanthus. Emulsion, solvent exchange, and high-pressure homogenizer pretreatments were performed on the reactants in order to improve liquid-solid contacts. After pretreatment, cellulose or miscanthus and octanoïc acid or octanoïc anhydride were molded at 220 MPa and an elevated temperature. The mechanical properties of the resulting compressed materials were measured, and the material was then ground and washed; the water drop angle was measured, and IR analysis was performed, as well as an accurate measure of the degree of substitution. The esterification reaction was confirmed, the water properties of the grafted cellulose were modified, and the mechanical properties of the modified materials were altered. From this pioneering work, a better understanding of the effect of the molding process on the reaction and production of water-resistant compressed cellulose materials was developed.
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