The surface of NCC was chemically modified by esterification

The surface of NCC was chemically modified by esterification using lauroyl chloride by adapting MK-2461 previous work of (De Menezes et al., 2009). Aqueous suspension of NCC (containing about 3 g of NCC) was first solvent-exchanged from water to acetone then to anhydrous toluene using 3 cycles of centrifugation/redispersion. The new suspension (≈100 g) of NCC (3 g) in anhydrous toluene was added in a three-necked flask. 25 ml of anhydrous toluene and 678 g of DMAP were added and the mixture was stirred at 20 °C for 30 min. Lauroyl chloride was then added in excess (10eq/OH) considering minerals only 10% of hydroxyl groups are localized at the surface of NCC (Peng et al., 2011 and Habibi et al., 2006). The mixture was refluxed (110 °C) for 4 h under continuous stirring. For the modified NCC isolation from the excess of reagents and the by-products, the mixture was washed and solvent-exchanged by centrifugation/redispersion using ethanol and finally in chloroform. The latter is used as a casting solvent for nanocomposite elaboration (3 times for each solvent).