Sustainable Technology
Sustainable Technology

Water-soluble Methyl Nanocellulose (MCA)


Oxidized methyl nanocellulose (MeCellosic acid, MCA) has been prepared by using catalytic oxidation of methyl cellulose (MC). As cellulose oxidizes and particle sizes become smaller, the most notable changes was the signficantly reduced viscosity from 4000 cP of 2% MC solution to 0.9 cP of 4% MCA solution but similar surface tenson was observed: 52 mN/m at 0.3 % MC solution and 50 mN/m at 0.5 MCA solution. Due to nano dimesions, low surface tension, and significantly reduced viscosity, MCA shows foamability to generate bubbles. Considering that nanocellulose is a liquid crystalline material, MCA would be a water-soluble glucose-based surfactant. 


Water-soluble Nanocellulose containing amino acids (MCA-AA)


MCA containing amino acids (MCA AA) is isolated as dry powders or hydrogels and characterized by solution 1H NMR. Around 35-50% substitution of amino acids is identified. Since MCA is a liquid crystalline nano material to form thin protective films useful for food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical packaging, MCA incorporating amino acids would posseses versatile properties for various applications. For example, since tryptophan (Trp) shows absorbance at ca. 280 nm and antioxidant activity with radical scavenging, MCA tryp would be an effective additive to form protective thin films to UV light and oxidative damage. In addition, upon binding to biomolecules including yeast or proteins, MCA AA forms the adduct to reduce interactions between biomolecules to increase the active surface leading to higher activity. 


Amino acids: glycine, lysine, cysteine, arginine, histidine, tryptophan, methionine, carnosine (a dipeptide of beta alanine and histidine), and others


Applications: Biosurfactant, protection of active ingredients and enhancement of bio catalyst activity, additive for antioxidant and antimicrobial activity


Alkyl and amino-terminated nanocellulose 


Using volatile amines such as isopropyl amine, amide formation and around 30% substitution are confirmed. With increasing alkyl chains decreased surface tension and enhanced emulsion with oil were observed.  The NH2-terminated MCA shows clearly different behaviors before and after protonation. Due to charge repulsion in acidic conditions it shows significantly reduced emulsion formation with oil.


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