Branching of hemicelluloses through an azetidinium salt ring-opening reaction
Journal article, 2016
During the last century there has been a steady increase in the number of publications on practical applications of hemicellulose. Due to the water and moisture sensitivity, poor film-forming ability and lack of thermal processability most of the hemicelluloses need to be chemically modified prior to processing into materials. Within this study we present the results of azetidinium salts as a new functional group for conjugation to polysaccharides. The reactivity of three azetidinium salts on xylan, arabinoxylan and galactoglucomannan was investigated. Carbonyl groups were found to be favorable for the reaction with azetidinium salts and thus the glucuronic acid content in the hemicellulose determines the degree of substitution. TEMPO-oxidation of the hemicelluloses was done which successfully increased the degree of substitution. The highly reactive azetidinium salts are easily synthesized from secondary amines and epichlorohydrin and can be used as a new tool toward functionalization of hemicelluloses into the after sought properties.