Electrospinning of Xanthan Polysaccharide

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Electrospun pure xanthan polysaccharide nanofibers are prepared using formic acid as a solvent. Morphological studies by scanning electron microscopy show that uniform fibers with average diameters ranging from 128 ± 36.7 to 240 ± 80.7 nm are formed depending on the polysaccharide concentration (0.5 to 2.5 wt/vol%). The correlation between the concentration and the rheological properties of xanthan solutions, with the morphology of the nanofibers is investigated. At the polysaccharide concentrations where nanofiber formation is observed, an increase of the elastic modulus and first normal stress differences is observed. The typical “weak gel-like” and thixotropic properties known for aqueous xanthan solutions, are not observed for the xanthan solutions in formic acid. The Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic and circular dichroism studies verify that an esterification reaction takes place, where formic acid reacts with the pyruvic acid groups of xanthan. Hence, formate groups neutralize the pyruvic charges which in turn stabilize the helical conformation of xanthan. The results obtained from size-exclusion chromatography reveal a small difference in the molecular weight of the polysaccharide when dissolved in distilled water or in formic acid.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMacromolecular Materials & Engineering
Volume302
Issue number8
Number of pages11
ISSN1438-7492
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
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