Water vapor sorption properties of cellulose nanocrystals and nanofibers using dynamic vapor sorption apparatus

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© 2017 The Author(s). Hygroscopic behavior is an inherent characteristic of nanocellulose which strongly affects its applications. In this study, the water vapor sorption behavior of four nanocellulose samples, such as cellulose nanocrystals and nanofibers with cellulose I and II structures (cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) I, CNC II, cellulose nanofibers (CNF) I, and CNF II) were studied by dynamic vapor sorption. The highly reproducible data including the running time, real-time sample mass, target relative humidity (RH), actual RH, and isotherm temperature were recorded during the sorption process. In analyzing these data, significant differences in the total running time, equilibrium moisture content, sorption hysteresis and sorption kinetics between these four nanocellulose samples were confirmed. It was important to note that CNC I, CNC II, CNF I, and CNF II had equilibrium moisture contents of 21.4, 28.6, 33.2, and 38.9%, respectively, at a RH of 95%. Then, the sorption kinetics behavior was accurately described by using the parallel exponential kinetics (PEK) model. Furthermore, the Kelvin-Voigt model was introduced to interpret the PEK behavior and calculate the modulus of these four nanocellulose samples.

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Scientific Reports