CHICAGO ACS SPRING MEETING NOTES: Cellulose and Revewable Materials Division (CELL)

Drug Delivery, Biorefineries & Novelties

by ROBERT MARCHESSAULT
April 4, 2007
Contact: Robert.Marchessault@mail.mcgill.ca

Charles Buchanan of Eastman Chemical was recipient of the Anselme Payen award of the Cellulose and Renewable Materials ACS Division for 2007. In his honour, specialists from American and European Drug Companies presented papers on the use of cyclodextrins as excipients. Under Buchanan’s direction and that of his close collaborator, Kevin Edgar, Eastman’s work was discussed and it was openly stated that their cyclodestrin work would cease. Interested parties for licensing of patents were invited to contact Buchanan. Kevin Edgar has moved to Virginia Tech University as Associate Prof. and has retired from Eastman after 20 years with the company which is known for its cellulose derivative products.

The divisional program covered structure/property characteristics of cellulose and hemicelluloses in a modern biomass context. Barrier properties of water soluble xylan film plasticized with xylitol were described. Extrusion on paper of a 15% solutions as a 10 micron thick film provided a barrier to: O2, grease, and aroma. This work was performed in Paul Gatenholm’s laboratory at Chalmers University in Gothenberg, Sweden. The film is called “Xylophane.”

Special symposia were dedicated to fibre nanocomposites as well as model cellulosic surfaces for various applications. Nanoparticles of gold and silver in cellulose film to impart antimicrobial properties were described. A biorefinery based on water soluble hemicellulose waste from processes such as steam explosion, prehydrolysed Kraft, thermomechanical pulping was described by the Swedish school. Similarly the ubiquitous corn fiber from the starch wet milling industry which is:
50% cellulose
45% hemicellulose (arabinoxylan)
5% corn fiber oil
is an example of a biorefinery feedstock presently used as animal food.

Microcomposites (MCC) and cellulose nanocomposites (CNW) were discussed in terms of thermal stability (yield) and other properties when used as fillers for injection molding of plastics. Conversion of MCC to CNW was proposed to improve yield.