Unique reactivity of nanoporous cellulosic materials mediated by surface-confined water

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Beaumont , M , Jusner , P , Gierlinger , N , King , A , Potthast , A , Rojas , O J & Rosenau , T 2021 , ' Unique reactivity of nanoporous cellulosic materials mediated by surface-confined water ' , Nature Communications , vol. 12 , no. 1 , 2513 . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22682-3

Title: Unique reactivity of nanoporous cellulosic materials mediated by surface-confined water
Author: Beaumont, Marco; Jusner, Paul; Gierlinger, Notburga; King, Alistair; Potthast, Antje; Rojas, Orlando J.; Rosenau, Thomas
Contributor organization: Department of Chemistry
Date: 2021-05-04
Language: eng
Number of pages: 8
Belongs to series: Nature Communications
ISSN: 2041-1723
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22682-3
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/330197
Abstract: The remarkable efficiency of chemical reactions is the result of biological evolution, often involving confined water. Meanwhile, developments of bio-inspired systems, which exploit the potential of such water, have been so far rather complex and cumbersome. Here we show that surface-confined water, inherently present in widely abundant and renewable cellulosic fibres can be utilised as nanomedium to endow a singular chemical reactivity. Compared to surface acetylation in the dry state, confined water increases the reaction rate and efficiency by 8 times and 30%, respectively. Moreover, confined water enables control over chemical accessibility of selected hydroxyl groups through the extent of hydration, allowing regioselective reactions, a major challenge in cellulose modification. The reactions mediated by surface-confined water are sustainable and largely outperform those occurring in organic solvents in terms of efficiency and environmental compatibility. Our results demonstrate the unexploited potential of water bound to cellulosic nanostructures in surface esterifications, which can be extended to a wide range of other nanoporous polymeric structures and reactions. The efficiency of chemical reactions in biological systems is often connected to the properties of confined water, but the developments and applications of artificial mimicking systems are impeded by the complexity of the biological systems. Here, the authors show how surface bound water in nanoporous cellulosic fibers can increase the reaction rate of surface acetylation reactions and enable regioselectivity of the reaction
Subject: 116 Chemical sciences
structural properties
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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