Palasingh C, Nakayama K, Abik F, Mikkonen KS, Evenäs L, Ström A, Nypelö T
Carbohydr Polym 292 (-) 119660 [2022-09-15; online 2022-05-27]
Xylan is a biopolymer readily available from forest resources. Various modification methods, including oxidation with sodium periodate, have been shown to facilitate the engineering applications of xylan. However, modification procedures are often optimized for semicrystalline high molecular weight polysaccharide cellulose rather than for lower molecular weight and amorphous polysaccharide xylan. This paper elucidates the procedure for the periodate oxidation of xylan into dialdehyde xylan and its further reduction into a dialcohol form and is focused on the modification work up. The oxidation-reduction reaction decreased the molecular weight of xylan while increased the dispersity more than 50%. Unlike the unmodified xylan, all the modified grades could be solubilized in water, which we see essential for facilitating the future engineering applications of xylan. The selection of quenching and purification procedures and pH-adjustment of the reduction step had no significant effect on the degree of oxidation, molecular weight and only a minor effect on the hydrodynamic radius in water. Hence, it is possible to choose the simplest oxidation-reduction route without time consuming purification steps within the sequence.