Galina Rodionovaa, Bård Hoffa , Marianne Lenesb, Øyvind Eriksenb, Øyvind Gregersena
a Department of Chemical Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7491 Trondheim, Norway.
b Paper and Fibre Research Institute, 7491 Trondheim, Norway.
The barrier properties of microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) films were improved by heterogeneous gas-phase esterification using various combinations of trifluoroacetic acid anhydride, acetic acid and acetic anhydride. The temperature, reagent ratio and reaction time were varied in the experimental design. The effects of two different purification procedures on the barrier properties of esterified MFC films were investigated. Washing with water did not affect the barrier properties compared to those of the films that were not washed, while the use of diethyl ether led to improved barrier properties as measured by the contact angle (CA) of water. The chemical composition of the modified films was studied by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Alterations in hydrophobicity and oxygen permeability were evaluated using dynamic CA and oxygen transmission rate measurements, respectively.