• International Journal of Technology (IJTech)
  • Vol 13, No 2 (2022)

Modification of Xanthan Gum with Methyl Methacrylate and Investigation of Its Rheological Properties

Modification of Xanthan Gum with Methyl Methacrylate and Investigation of Its Rheological Properties

Title: Modification of Xanthan Gum with Methyl Methacrylate and Investigation of Its Rheological Properties
Kusherova Parassat Tulegenovna, El-Sayed Negim, Khaldun M. Al Azzam, Mohammad Azmi Bustam

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Tulegenovna, K.P., Negim, E., Azzam, K.M.A., Bustam, M.A., 2022. Modification of Xanthan Gum with Methyl Methacrylate and Investigation of Its Rheological Properties. International Journal of Technology. Volume 13(2), pp. 389-397

Kusherova Parassat Tulegenovna School of Chemical Engineering, Kazakh-British Technical University, 106 Walikhanov Street, Almaty, 050010, Kazakhstan
El-Sayed Negim - School of Chemical Engineering, Kazakh-British Technical University, 106 Walikhanov Street, Almaty, 050010, Kazakhstan - School of Petroleum Engineering, Satbayev University, 22 Satpayev Street, 05
Khaldun M. Al Azzam Pharmacological and Diagnostic Research Center (PDRC), Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, Al-Ahliyya Amman University, Amman 19328, Jordan
Mohammad Azmi Bustam CO2 Research Centre (CO2RES), Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, 32610 Bandar Seri Iskandar, Perak, Malaysia
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Modification of Xanthan Gum with Methyl Methacrylate and Investigation of Its Rheological Properties

Xanthan gum modification is considered a significant step in improving shearing, thermal degradation performance, and rheological properties. This paper investigates the rheology properties of the grafted copolymer based on xanthan gum and methyl methacrylate (XG-g-MMA), including shear stress and viscosity versus shear rate. The grafted copolymer XG-g-MMA was synthesized with different composition ratios of methyl methacrylate (MMA) (1:1.6, 1:5, and 1:8 wt.%) in the presence of a potassium persulphate initiator. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) characterized the obtained grafted xanthan gum (XG) to confirm the grafting process. The results of the rheology analysis show that grafted XG exhibited higher shear stress and viscosity than pure XG. However, increasing the MMA ratio increases shear stress and viscosity with increasing shear rate. In addition, the rheology measurement of the grafted copolymer showed non-Newtonian shear thinning behavior for XG and XG-g-MMA. These results can further its application in different fields, such as oil recovery and pharmaceuticals.

Copolymer; Grafted; MMA; Rheology; Xanthan gum


Today, in choosing a material or a raw material, preference is given to multifunctional safe materials that do not harm health and the environment. One of these materials is biopolymer xanthan gum (Mohamed et al., 2018; Kusrini et al., 2021). Xanthan gum, weighing approximately 2.65 x 106 Da (Khouryieh et al., 2007), is a valuable polysaccharide, a polymer of biological origin, produced by the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris. This polysaccharide has many alkyl groups (Figure 1) that can be replaced by other functional groups, providing different properties. It is composed of a ?-1,4 glycosidic bond-linked main chain and a trisacharides side chain, successively containing mannose, glucuronic acid, and mannose (Hu et al., 2019). The scope of xanthan gum application is broad, ranging from the food industry to oil extraction. It is valuable due to its biodegradability, safety for the organisms and the environment, and in-demand qualities, such as thickening, moisturizing, wetting, stabilizing properties, and resistance to different environmental conditions (Sworn, 2009; Sofia & Djamel, 2016; Filimon, 2018; Jindal & Khattar, 2018). However, because it is inferior to synthetic polymers in some characteristics, it is sometimes expected to be modified to improve its specific properties, such as its rheological characteristics and solubility. Chain stiffness is known to affect physicochemical properties (Fantou et al., 2017). The xanthan chains cannot associate under ordered conformation, but they associate exhibiting a gel-like behavior under disordered conformation. Therefore, most of the modifications are based on the grafting process, which impacts polymer sight chains. In particular, modification improves the rheology of substances (Alas & Ali, 2019; Mau et al., 2020). Modification implies modifying xanthan gum by applying chemical methods, such as co-polymerization (Wang et al., 2013; Elella et al., 2017), treatment with chemical substances (surfactants, acids, etc.) (Skender et al., 2013; Costa et al., 2014), physical methods, such as cold plasma (Jampala et al., 2015), and biological methods, such as fermentation (Costa et al., 2014), to improve its rheological properties. Moreover, xanthan gum has antibacterial properties (Schnizlein et al., 2020; Munir et al., 2017; Bernice et al., 2018) that are considered essential for pharmaceuticals Bernice et al., 2018).

Modification of xanthan gum can enhance some of its physical and chemical properties. Therefore, the present work aims to prepare grafted xanthan (XG-g-MMA) using methyl methacrylate (MMA). The mechanical and thermal properties, high transparency, and excellent weather ability of MMA make it the most widely used monomer in practical applications (Al-Odayni et al., 2020), such as production of medicine, and adhesives. XG-g-MMA was prepared using an initiatior (potassium persulfate, K2S2O8) and different composition ratios of MMA to define the better ratio for grafting. The new polymers were then characterized by rheological properties and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) spectra. Additionally, this work investigates the rheological properties of XG-g-MMA and the effect of different temperatures and composition ratios of MMA on its rheologal properties.

Figure 1 Chemical structure of xanthan gum


The grafted copolymers were synthesized using XG and MMA with different MMA ratios in the presence of potassium persulphate as the initiator to investigate the effect of the temperature and composition ratio of MMA on the rheological properties. All solutions of XG and XG-g-MMA exhibited non-Newtonian pseudoplastic properties. XG-g-MMA shear stress and viscosity versus shear rate vary proportionately as the quantity of MMA increases. The shear stress and viscosity of XG and XG-g-MMA increase as the temperature was decreased from 60 to 30°C. XG-g-MMA demonstrated much higher shear stress and viscosity than XG due to the interaction of the side chains. These properties of XG-g-MMA provide good prospects for this copolymer to be as a safe thickener in cosmetology or the oil industry. These results are primary data; further investigations should be carried out to research XG-g-MMA applicability.


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