NC State
BioResources
Chen, J., and Yan, N. (2012). "Hydrophobization of bleached softwood kraft fibers via adsorption of organo-nanoclay," BioRes. 7(3), 4132-4149.

Abstract

Montmorillonite clay particles that had been prepared with an alklyl-ammonium surfactant were used to modify the moisture-sensitivity of bleached softwood kraft fibers through solvent exchange and adsorption methods. Moisture absorption and water uptake of the wood pulp fibers were significantly lower after the organo-nanoclay treatment. Thermal stability, surface energy, and surface morphology of the treated fibers were characterized using Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), Inverse Gas Chromatography (IGC), Scanning Electron Microscopy-Energy Dispersive X-ray Analysis (SEM-EDX), and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) imaging. The Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) spectral characteristics of the treated fibers were obtained to better understand the modified surface functional groups of the treated fibers. The treated bio-fibers had nano-scale surface roughness and a much reduced surface energy. The contact angle of water on the treated fiber mat was found to be higher than 160º. The thermal stability of the treated fibers was not affected by the modification.
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