Preparation of Bio-Foam Material from Steam-Exploded Corn Straw by In Situ Esterification Modification
In this work, we engineered a corn-straw-based bio-foam material under the inspiration of the intrinsic morphology of the corn stem. The explosion pretreatment was applied to obtain a fibrillated cellulose starting material rich in lignin. The in situ esterification of cellulose was adopted to improve the cross-linking network of the as-developed foam bio-material. The esterification of lignin was observed in the same procedure, which provides a better cross-linking interaction. The esterified corn-straw-derived bio-foam material showed excellent elastic resilience performance with an elastic recovery ratio of 83% and an elastic modulus of 20 kPa. Meanwhile, with surface modification by hexachlorocyclotriphosphazene-functionalized lignin as the flame retardant (Lig-HCCP), the as-obtained bio-foam material demonstrated quite a good flame retardancy (with 27.3% of the LOI), as well as a heat insulation property. The corn-straw-derived bio-foam material is prospected to be a potential substitution packaging material for widely used petroleum-derived products. This work provides a new value-added application of the abundant agricultural straw biomass resources.