Surface modification of cellulose fibers by starch grafting with crosslinkers



Polymer grafting is a widely used technique in modifying the properties of cellulose fibers. Many methods, such as free radical, esterification reactions and layer-by-layer adsorption, have been applied for grafting polymer on different substrates. In this study, a facile method to graft biodegradable starch on fiber surface through the hydrogen bond formation among cellulose, starch, and ammonium zirconium (IV) carbonate (AZC) was developed. The effects of grafting conditions, including pH, temperature, fiber consistency, crosslinker, starch dosage, and mechanical agitation on the grafting yield were systematically investigated. Optical and electron microscopes clearly revealed that, after grafting, the fiber surface was covered by hydrogel of starch. The significant improvements of water retention value (WRV) of fibers with starch grafting were also demonstrated in this study. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2009