In this study, redox-initiated free radical graft copolymerization of microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) and methyl methacrylate (MMA) has been carried out in aqueous media to develop a novel cellulose-based copolymer. Cerium ammonium nitrate was used as the initiator in the presence of nitric acid. Effects of monomer concentration, initiator concentration, polymerization time, and polymerization temperature on the graft parameters of copolymers were studied. The successful grafting copolymerization between MCC and MMA was validated through attenuated total reflection, wide-angle X-ray diffraction, field-emission scanning electron microscopy, and thermal gravimetric analysis. In comparison to native MCC, the resultant copolymers exhibited enhanced thermal stability and better compatibility with natural rubber, suggesting its potential application as reinforcement material in rubber industry.
- cellulose and other wood products
- radical polymerization
- thermogravimetric analysis (TGA)