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Novel biorenewable plastics based on natural resources using ionic liquids
conference contributionposted on 2011-01-01, 00:00 authored by Nishar Hameed, Qipeng Guo, F Tay, S Kazarian
We report biorenewable plastics developed from natural resources such as cellulose, wool and microorganismsynthesized poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) copolymer [1-3]. Novel materials were prepared by blending these natural polymers in an ionic liquid green solvent, 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride. Cellulose /PHBV blend materials were successfully prepared in this way. The ionic liquid was completely recycled with high yield and purity after the processing. The blend materials can be processed into different solid forms such as films, noodle-like fibers and bulk blocks. It was found that there exists hydrogen bonding interaction between the components which facilities the mixing of these polymers. The cellulose/PHBV blend materials all show phase-separated structure as revealed by micro ATR-FTIR imaging (Figure 1) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The PHBV domains of 6 - 8 µm are distributed in a cellulose matrix at high concentrations of cellulose while the blend materials with high PHBV concentrations exhibit multiphase morphologies, including beadlike PHBV microdomains in the range of 300-400 nm. The dispersion of PHBV in cellulose leads to significant improvement in hydrophobicity due to its beadlike structure. The blend materials represent a class of degradable plastics from natural bioresources using the ionic liquid green solvent.