Natural wool/cellulose blends were prepared in an ionic liquid green solvent, 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride (BMIMCl) and the films were formed subsequently from the coagulated solutions. The wool/cellulose blend films show significant improvement in thermal stability compared to the coagulated wool and cellulose. Moreover, the blend films exhibited an increasing trend of tensile strength with increase in cellulose content in the blends which could be used for the development of wool-based materials with improved mechanical properties, and the elongations of the blends were considerably improved with respect to the coagulated films of wool and cellulose. It was found that there was hydrogen bonding interaction between hydroxyl groups of wool and cellulose in the coagulated wool/cellulose blends as determined by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The ionic liquid was completely recycled with high yield and purity after the blend film was prepared. This work presents a green processing route for development of novel renewable blended materials from natural resource with improved properties.
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