Blends between the widely used thermoset resin, epoxy, and the most abundant organic material, natural cellulose are demonstrated for the first time. The blending modification induced by charge transfer complexes using a room temperature ionic liquid, leads to the formation of thermally flexible thermoset materials. The blend materials containing low concentrations of cellulose were optically transparent which indicates the miscibility at these compositions. We observed the existence of intermolecular hydrogen bonding between epoxy and cellulose in the presence of the ionic liquid, leading to partial miscibility between these two polymers. The addition of cellulose improves the tensile mechanical properties of epoxy. This study reveals the use of ionic liquids as a compatible processing medium to prepare epoxy thermosets modified with natural polymers.
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