In-Depth Understanding of the Effect of the Distribution of Substituents on the Morphology and Physical Properties of Ethylcellulose: Molecular Dynamics Simulations Insights
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2024

Ethylcellulose (EC) is a crucial cellulose derivative with widespread applications, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry, where precise property adjustments through chemical modification are imperative. The degree of substitution (DS) and the localization of substituents along the cellulose chains are pivotal factors in this process. However, the impact of the substituent location within the repeating unit of EC remains unexplored. To address this gap, we conducted molecular dynamics simulations on amorphous EC, comparing randomly and uniformly substituted ethyl groups in the repeating units. This comprehensive study of pairwise interactions revealed significant differences in intramolecular and intermolecular hydrogen-bonding capabilities, depending on whether the hydroxyl groups were substituted at C2, C3, or C6. While our simulations demonstrated that substituent localization in the repeating unit influenced the density, number of hydrogen bonds, and conformations, the DS emerged as the dominant determinant. This insight led us to propose and validate a hypothesis: a straightforward linear function using the properties of uniform models and molar fractions can predict the properties of randomly substituted EC with a given DS. This innovative approach is anticipated to contribute to the selection of cellulose derivatives with desirable properties for the pharmaceutical industry and new applications in other fields.


Donghyun Kim

Chalmers, Kemi och kemiteknik, Tillämpad kemi

Patric Elf

Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH)

F. Nilsson


Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH)

M. S. Hedenqvist

Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH)

Anette Larsson

Chalmers, Kemi och kemiteknik, Tillämpad kemi


1525-7797 (ISSN) 1526-4602 (eISSN)

Vol. In Press

Design for Circularity: Lignocellulose based Thermoplastics - Fib:Re

VINNOVA (2019-00047), 2020-01-01 -- 2024-12-31.


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