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Processing of polymer/cellulose nanofiber composites

English title Processing of polymer/cellulose nanofiber composites
Applicant Weder Christoph
Number 136911
Funding scheme NRP 66 Resource Wood
Research institution Polymer Chemistry and Materials Adolphe Merkle Institute Université de Fribourg
Institution of higher education University of Fribourg - FR
Main discipline Material Sciences
Start/End 01.09.2012 - 31.12.2016
Approved amount 502'395.00
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Keywords (5)

Cellulose Nanofibers; Nanocomposites; Mechanical Properties; Polymers; Processing

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Neue Verarbeitungsmethoden für Cellulose-Nanokomposite Die aus Kunststoffen und Holz gewonnenen, hochfesten Cellulose-Nanofasern weisen attraktive mechanische Eigenschaften wie Zugfestigkeit auf. Die bekannten Prozesse zur Herstellung solcher Materialien sind allerdings kaum industriell nutzbar. Dieses Forschungsprojekt verfolgt deshalb das Ziel, neue, skalierbare Produktionsverfahren für Cellulose-Nanokomposite zu entwickeln.
Lay summary

Hintergrund
Durch den Einsatz von Nanofüllstoffen ist es möglich, die mechanischen Eigenschaften von Kunststoffen wesentlich zu verbessern. Hochfeste Cellulose-Nanofasern sind dafür gut geeignet, da sie erstens über hervorragende mechanische Stabilität verfügen und zweitens kostengünstig und nachhaltig aus verschiedenen nachwachsenden Rohstoffen wie Holz gewonnen werden können. In wissenschaftlichen Studien konnte bereits erfolgreich eine grosse Palette von Nanokompositen aus verschiedenen Kunststoffen und Cellulose-Nanofasern hergestellt werden. Allerdings lassen sich die dabei verwendeten Herstellungs-prozesse nicht einfach auf industrielle Grossanlagen anwenden (skalieren) und sind deshalb kaum technologisch nutzbar.

Ziel
Dieses Forschungsprojekt zielt darauf ab, eine wissenschaftliche Basis zu erarbeiten, um robuste, universelle und einfach skalierbare Prozesse für die Herstellung von Nanokompositen aus Cellulose-Nanofasern und technologisch relevanten Kunststoffen zu entwickeln. In einem ersten Schritt untersuchen die Forschenden verschiedene Verfahren, die es erlauben, homogene Mischungen der beiden Komponenten herzustellen. Dabei geht es auch darum, die Verwendung organischer Lösungsmittel zu minimieren. In einem zweiten Schritt bestimmen die Forschenden die Bedingungen, unter welchen sich die produzierten Nanokompositen formen lassen.

Bedeutung
Die Erkenntnisse aus dem Projekt können zu einem besseren Verständnis der Beziehung zwischen Verarbeitungsprozess, Struktur und Eigenschaft von Cellulose-Nanokompositen führen. Dies könnte es ermöglichen, neue Herstellungsverfahren für die hier untersuchten, aber auch ähnliche Materialien weiterzuentwickeln.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 29.01.2013

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Nouvelles méthodes de production de nanocomposites à base de cellulose Issues de matières plastiques et de bois, les nanofibres de cellulose ultra-robustes présentent des propriétés mécaniques intéressantes, comme la résistance à la traction. Les processus de fabrication actuels ne sont toutefois guère exploitables dans l’industrie. Ce projet de recherche vise par conséquent à développer de nouveaux procédés modulables de production des nanocomposites à base de cellulose.
Lay summary

Contexte
L’utilisation de nanocharges permet d’améliorer significativement les propriétés mécaniques des polymères. A cet effet, les nanofibres ultra-robustes provenant de la cellulose sont indiquées pour deux raisons: elles présentent une excellente stabilité mécanique et peuvent s’obtenir à peu de frais et durablement de diverses matières premières renouvelables telles que le bois. Des études scientifiques ont d’ores et déjà abouti à la fabrication d’un vaste éventail de nanocomposites à base de différents polymères et de nanofibres de cellulose. Néanmoins, les procédés de fabrication utilisés n’étant pas applicables (modulables) aux grandes installations industrielles; ils sont quasiment inexploitables du point de vue technologique.

But
L’objectif de ce projet est de poser les bases scientifiques qui devraient permettre de développer des processus robustes, universels et facilement modulables pour la fabrication de nanocomposites à partir de nanofibres provenant de la cellulose, et de polymères technologiquement utilisables. Dans un premier temps, les chercheurs étudient différents procédés permettant de fabriquer des mélanges homogènes des deux composantes. Un autre enjeu est la réduction de l’utilisation de solvants organiques. Dans un deuxième temps, les chercheurs déterminent les conditions propices au formage des nanocomposites produits.

Portée
Les conclusions de ce projet peuvent faire progresser notre compréhension fondamentale de la relation entre le procédé de production, la structure et les propriétés des nanocomposites à base de cellulose. Ceci pourrait permettre de peaufiner de nouveaux procédés de fabrication des matériaux étudiés ici, mais également de matériaux similaires.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 29.01.2013

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
New processing methods for cellulose nanocomposites Cellulose nanofibres produced from plastics and wood have very useful mechanical properties such as tensile strength. However, the known processes for producing such materials cannot be properly exploited industrially. This research project therefore aims to develop new, scalable production methods for cellulose nanocomposites.
Lay summary

Background
By using nanofillers, it is possible to significantly improve the mechanical properties of plastics. High-strength cellulose nanofibres are very suitable for this as they are mechanically very stable as well as cheap and can be produced sustainably from renewable raw materials such as wood. In scientific studies, researchers have already been able to produce a wide range of nanocomposites from different plastics and cellulose nanofibres. However, the production processes used for this cannot simply be applied to large industrial plants (scala-bility) and are thus technologically of little use.

Aim
The research project aims to establish a scientific basis for the development of robust, universal and easily scalable processes for the production of nanocomposites out of cellulose nanofibres and technologically relevant plastics. In an initial step, the researchers study different procedures with which homogenous mixtures of the two components can be produced. In this context, it is important to minimise the use of organic solvents. In a second step, the researchers determine the conditions under which the produced nanocomposites can be formed.

Significance
The insights gained in the project can lead to a better understanding of the relationship between the processing method, structure and property of cellulose nanocomposites. This could enable scientists to further develop new production processes for the materials studied here, as well as for similar materials.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 29.01.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Pre-mixing and masterbatch approaches for reinforcing poly(vinyl acetate) with cellulose based fillers
Nicharat Apiradee, Sapkota Janak, Foster E. Johan (2016), Pre-mixing and masterbatch approaches for reinforcing poly(vinyl acetate) with cellulose based fillers, in INDUSTRIAL CROPS AND PRODUCTS, 93, 244-250.
Shape Memory Composites Based on Electrospun Poly(vinyl alcohol) Fibers and a Thermoplastic Polyether Block Amide Elastomer
Shirole Anuja, Sapkota Janak, Foster E. Johan, Weder Christoph (2016), Shape Memory Composites Based on Electrospun Poly(vinyl alcohol) Fibers and a Thermoplastic Polyether Block Amide Elastomer, in ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES, 8(10), 6701-6708.
Influence of the nanofiber dimensions on the properties of nanocellulose/poly(vinyl alcohol) aerogels
Mueller Silvana, Sapkota Janak, Nicharat Apiradee, Zimmermann Tanja, Tingaut Philippe, Weder Christoph, Foster E. Johan (2015), Influence of the nanofiber dimensions on the properties of nanocellulose/poly(vinyl alcohol) aerogels, in JOURNAL OF APPLIED POLYMER SCIENCE, 132(13), 41740.
Melt-Processing of Nanocomposites of Polyamide 12 and Cellulose Nanocrystals
Nicharat Apiradee, Sapkota Janak, Weder Christoph, Foster E. Johan (2015), Melt-Processing of Nanocomposites of Polyamide 12 and Cellulose Nanocrystals, in Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 132, 42752.
Influence of mechanical treatments on the properties of cellulose nanofibers isolated from microcrystalline cellulose
Bandera Davide, Sapkota Janak, Josset Sebastien, Weder Christoph, Tingaut Philippe, Gao Xin, Foster E. Johan, Zimmermann Tanja (2014), Influence of mechanical treatments on the properties of cellulose nanofibers isolated from microcrystalline cellulose, in REACTIVE & FUNCTIONAL POLYMERS, 85, 134-141.
Influence of mechanical treatments on the properties of cellulose nanofibers isolated from microcrystalline cellulose
Bandera Davide, Sapkota Janak, Josset Sebastien, Weder Christoph, Tingaut Philippe, Gao Xin, Foster E. Johan, Zimmermann Tanja (2014), Influence of mechanical treatments on the properties of cellulose nanofibers isolated from microcrystalline cellulose, in REACTIVE & FUNCTIONAL POLYMERS, 85, 134-141.
Preparation of Cellulose Nanocrystal/Polymer Nanocomposites via Sol-Gel Processes
Jorfi M., Annamalai P.K., Weder C., (2014), Preparation of Cellulose Nanocrystal/Polymer Nanocomposites via Sol-Gel Processes, in Oksman K. (ed.), World Scientific, London, 23-34.
Reinforcing Poly(ethylene) with Cellulose Nanocrystals
Sapkota Janak, Jorfi Mehdi, Weder Christoph, Foster Earl Johan (2014), Reinforcing Poly(ethylene) with Cellulose Nanocrystals, in MACROMOLECULAR RAPID COMMUNICATIONS, 35(20), 1747-1753.
Melt Processing of PVAc-Cellulose Nanocrystal Nanocomposites
Janak Sapkota Matthew N. Roberts Christoph Weder and E. Johan Foster (2013), Melt Processing of PVAc-Cellulose Nanocrystal Nanocomposites, in Michael T. Postek Robert Moon Michael Bilodeau Alan Rudie Ed. (ed.), TAPPI Press., New York, 111-112.
Thermally Stable Cellulose Nanocrystals Isolated By Phosphoric Acid Hydrolysis
Camarero Espinosa Sandra Kuhnt Tobias Weder Christoph Foster E .Johan (2013), Thermally Stable Cellulose Nanocrystals Isolated By Phosphoric Acid Hydrolysis, in Michael T. Postek Robert Moon Michael Bilodeau Alan Rudie Ed. (ed.), Tappi Press, New York, 12-20.
Fabrication and Properties of Polyethylene / Cellulose Nanocrystal Composites
Sapkota Janak, Natterodt Jens, Shirole Anuja, Foster Earl Johan, Weder Christoph, Fabrication and Properties of Polyethylene / Cellulose Nanocrystal Composites, in Macromolecular Materials and Engineering 2016 .
Influence of processing conditions on properties of poly (vinyl acetate) / cellulose nanocrystals nanocomposites
Sapkota Janak, Kumar Sandeep, Weder Christoph, Foster E. Johan, Influence of processing conditions on properties of poly (vinyl acetate) / cellulose nanocrystals nanocomposites, in Macromolecular Materials and Engineering, 300, 562-572.
Polymer Nanocomposites with Nanorods Having Different Length Distributions
Sapkota Janak, Shirole Anuja, Foster Earl Johan, Martinez Garcia Julio, Lattuada Marco, Weder Christoph, Polymer Nanocomposites with Nanorods Having Different Length Distributions, in Polymer.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Dr. Robert Moon, Brick Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Tanja Zimmerman, EMPA Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Dr. Ratana Rujiravanit, Petroleum and Petrochemical College, Chulalongkorn University Thailand (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Exchange of personnel
Dr. Stephen Eichhorn, School of Materials, University of Manchester. Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
Prof. E. Johan Foster, Materials Science, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg VA United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Frontiers in Green Materials Meeting Talk given at a conference Polymer Composites with Cellulose Nanocrystals 12.12.2016 London, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Weder Christoph;
MRS Fall Meeting Talk given at a conference Bio-Inspired, Mechanically Adaptive and Adapting Polymer Systems 29.11.2016 Boston, United States of America Weder Christoph;
Trends in NanoTechnology Poster Polymer nanocomposites with cellulose nanocrystals functionalised with 2-ureido-4[1H]pyrimidinone 06.09.2016 Fribourg, Switzerland Natterodt Jens;
Warwick Polymer Conference 2016 Poster Polymer nanocomposites with cellulose nanocrystals functionalised with 2-ureido-4[1H]pyrimidinone 13.07.2016 Warwick, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Natterodt Jens;
International Conference on nanotechnology for Renewable Materials (TAPPI Nano) Talk given at a conference Functional Materials Made with Cellulose Nanocrystals 15.06.2016 Grenoble, France Weder Christoph;
GRC Bio-Inspired materials Talk given at a conference Bio-Inspired, Mechanically Adaptive and Responsive Polymer Systems 09.06.2016 Les Diablerets , Switzerland Weder Christoph;
ACS Spring Meeting Talk given at a conference Reinforcement of Polymers With Cellulose Nanocrystals Types Having Different Aspect Ratios 16.03.2016 San Diego, United States of America Weder Christoph;
Seminar at Montanuniversität Leoben Individual talk Processing of Cellulose Based Nanocomposites - From Lab Scale to Industrial Scale 20.01.2016 Leoben, Austria Sapkota Janak;
Seminar at EMPA St. Gallen Individual talk Bio-inspired nanocomposites for biomedical applications 18.01.2016 St. Gallen, Switzerland Weder Christoph;
Pacifichem 2015 Talk given at a conference Mechanically Adaptive Nanocomposites for Biomedical Applications 19.12.2015 Honolulu, United States of America Weder Christoph;
Stimuli-responsive materials symposium Talk given at a conference Stimuli-Responsive Materials Made with Cellulose Nanocrystals 26.10.2015 Santa Rosa, United States of America Weder Christoph;
23rd annual meeting of the Bio-Environmental Polymer Society - BEPS 2015 Talk given at a conference High-Added-Value Materials with Cellulose Nanocrystals 12.10.2015 Karlsruhe, Germany Weder Christoph;
Nanocellulose 2015 Round Table of Ideas, University of Vienna Talk given at a conference Melt-mixed cellulose nanocrystal based nanocomposites for thermally-activated shape memory polymer 27.09.2015 Vienna, Austria Nicharat Apiradee;
Nanocellulose 2015 Round Table of Ideas, University of Vienna Talk given at a conference Reinforcement of polymers with a combination of cellulose nanocrystal types with different length distributions 26.09.2015 Vienna, Austria Sapkota Janak;
INASCON Conference Poster Cellulose nanocrystals functionalised with Upy as Universal Fillers 11.08.2015 Basel, Switzerland Natterodt Jens;
INASCON conference Poster Towards Melt-processing of Nanocomposites Containing Nanocellulose and Commodity Polymers 11.08.2015 Basel, Switzerland Sapkota Janak;
POLYCOLL Poster Thermally-activated shape memory behaviour of melt-mixed polyurethane/cellulose nanocrystals nanocomposites 03.07.2015 Fribourg, Switzerland Nicharat Apiradee;
Seminar, The Petroleum and Petrochemical College, Chulalongkorn University Individual talk High-Added-Value Materials with Cellulose Nanocrystals 12.06.2015 Bangkok, Thailand Weder Christoph;
Swiss Nanoconvention Talk given at a conference Bio-Inspired Materials based on Cellulose Nanocrystals 28.05.2015 Neuenburg, Switzerland Weder Christoph;
American Chemical Society National Meeting Talk given at a conference Processing and Properties of Polymer Nanocomposites with Cellulose Nanocrystals 25.04.2015 Denver CO, United States of America Weder Christoph;
American Chemical Society National Meeting Talk given at a conference High-Added-Value Materials with Cellulose Nanocrystals 24.04.2015 Denver CO, United States of America Weder Christoph;
Fribourg Center of Nanomaterials, Annual Conference Talk given at a conference Towards Melt Processing of Commodity Polymers Reinforced With Cellulose Nanocrystals 07.02.2015 Fribourg, Switzerland Sapkota Janak;
Fribourg Center of Nanomaterials, Annual Conference Poster Melt Processing of Cellulose Nanocomposites with Cellulose Nanocrystals 07.02.2015 Fribourg, Switzerland Nicharat Apiradee;
Visit of the Research Centre for Applied Science and Technology (RECAST), Kathmandu Individual talk Processing of Cellulose Based Nanocomposites 05.01.2015 Kathmandu, Nepal Sapkota Janak;
Visit of PAGORA Individual talk Polymer nanocomposite materials design 04.12.2014 Grenoble, France Weder Christoph;
Tec21 Symposium Talk given at a conference Smart Applications for Nanomaterials 26.11.2014 Grenoble, France Weder Christoph;
6. Wädenswiler Chemietag Talk given at a conference Polymere Nanoverbundswerkstoffe mit Zellulose Nanofasern 26.06.2014 Wädenswil, Switzerland Weder Christoph;
2014 TAPPI International Conference on Nanotechnology for Renewable Resources Talk given at a conference Thermally stable cellulose nanocrystals: From form to smart functionality 26.06.2014 Vancouver, Canada Weder Christoph;
NIST Workshop – Metrology Needs for Cellulose Nanomaterials, Talk given at a conference Detecting Surface Chemistry of Nanocellulose 23.06.2014 Vancouver, Canada Weder Christoph;
Talk at Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Departamento de Ingeniería Mecánica y de Materiales Individual talk Biomimetic Smart Materials 07.05.2014 Valencia, Spain Weder Christoph;
Cost Action FP1205: Nanocellulose: advanced characterization and potential uses Talk given at a conference Nanocellulose based composites for biomedical and advanced materials applications 06.05.2014 Bologna, Italy Weder Christoph;
American Chemical Society Spring Conference Talk given at a conference Cellulose Nanocrystal Based Nanocomposites: From New Biorenewable Nanocrystals to Healable Materials 17.03.2014 Dallas, United States of America Weder Christoph;
Talk at the University of Southern Mississippi, Department of Polymer Science Individual talk Smart Nanocomposites Materials based on Cellulose Nanocrystals 27.01.2014 Hattiesburg, United States of America Weder Christoph;
2013 Winter Training School: Use of nanopolysaccharides in Biobased Packaging. Grenoble INP PAGORA Talk given at a conference Smart materials based on cellulose nanocrystals: How to make a better plastic 13.12.2013 Grenoble, France Weder Christoph;
Swiss-Japanese Workshop on “NANOSCIENCE: Materials Phenomena at Small Scale Talk given at a conference Bio-Inspired, Stimuli-Responsive, Mechanically Adaptive Polymer Nanocomposites 11.10.2013 Tsukuba, Japan Weder Christoph;
2013 TAPPI International Conference on Nanotechnology for Renewable Resources, Talk given at a conference Thermally Stable Cellulose Composites 23.06.2013 Stockholm, Sweden Weder Christoph;
Talk at Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt (EMPA) Dubendorf Individual talk Cellulose nanocrystals versus cellulose microfibers 12.06.2013 Dübenforf, Switzerland Weder Christoph;
Invited Seminar, Nolax AG Individual talk Exploiting Non-Covalent Interactions for the Design of Stimuli-Responsive Polymers 14.01.2013 Zurich, Switzerland Weder Christoph;
DGM FA-Sitzung Polymerwerkstoffe und BIM (Bio-Inspired Materials) Talk given at a conference Making a better plastic 09.11.2012 Golm, Germany, Germany Weder Christoph;
Henkel, European Scientific Advisory Board Meeting Talk given at a conference Stimuli responsive nanocomposites 15.10.2012 Düsseldorf, Germany, Germany Weder Christoph;
BASF Research Seminar Individual talk Novel approaches to self-healing materials 23.09.2012 St. Martin, Germany, Germany Weder Christoph;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
“Nano?!” Kickoff speach, panel discussion « Nano », Expo Nano, High School Enge, Zurich Performances, exhibitions (e.g. for education institutions) 14.01.2016 Zürich, Switzerland Weder Christoph;
Micro- et Nanotechnologies dans les matériaux et processus pour l'industrie européenne des polymères Talk 22.11.2012 Fribourg, Switzerland, Switzerland Weder Christoph;
SAMPE SETEC 2012 Talk 19.09.2012 Lucerne, Switzerland, Switzerland Weder Christoph;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Workshop “Nanocellulose: The next big thing? Or still a bit thin? 13.01.2016 Rapperswil, Switzerland
Seminar at Pirelli Co. Research Meeting. Stimuli-Responsive Supramolecular Polymers 22.10.2015 Milan, Italy

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: radio, television Einstein SRF 1 German-speaking Switzerland 2016
Other activities Experiment, showing reinforcing polymers with nanocellulose. Tourbus Uni Fribourg 125 year celebrati Western Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland 2014
Media relations: print media, online media Holz – innovativer Baustein für Hightech-Produkte CHEMIE PLUS 9-2014 German-speaking Switzerland 2014
Media relations: print media, online media Wood – An Innovative Component of High-tech Products? 6th Wädenswil Day of Chemistry 2014 Chimia Western Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland Italian-speaking Switzerland 2014

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
172619 Stimuli-Responsive Supramolecular Polymers 01.04.2017 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

In the past two decades, significant efforts have been devoted to the investigation and development of polymer nanocomposites in which the incorporation of a mechanically robust, high-aspect-ratio, nanoscale filler enhances the mechanical properties vis a vis the neat polymer and/or conventional composites. In this context, cellulose nanofibers are attracting great interest as an inexpensive alternative to carbon nanotubes, due to their outstanding mechanical properties and the abundance and renewable nature of cellulose. These highly crystalline rod-like particles, commonly referred to as “whiskers”, “nanowhiskers”, “nanofibrils”, “nanocrystalline cellulose”, or "cellulose nanocrystals", can be isolated from a variety of bio-sources including cotton, straw, and many others. Due to its low cost, wood is a particularly interesting source for cellulose nanocrystals. Many industrial processes and structures necessary for commercial nanocrystal production from wood are already in place or can be readily implemented. Recently, the anticipated decay of the future demand for paper products has triggered the pulp and paper industry around the world to seriously consider alternative businesses.This proposal is based on the notion that the commercial success of the idea to employ cellulose nanocrystals as high-value fillers for polymers hinges on the development of industrially viable processes that allow one to produce such nanocomposites on a commercial scale. A broad palette of polymer nanocomposites comprising cellulose nanocrystals has been studied in research laboratories around the world, involving different types of cellulose as well as a diverse range of polymer matrixes. Many attractive properties and functions have been demonstrated, but few of the processes employed to create such materials are readily scalable.This proposal outlines an experimental research program that seeks to develop robust, cost-effective, and scalable methods for the mixing and processing of nanocomposites of technologically relevant polymers and cellulose nanocrystals isolated from wood. The first aim is to devise approaches for the mixing of the two components, which minimize the use of organic solvents and avoid surface modification of the cellulose, yet lead to the morphologies - percolating networks within the polymer matrix - that result in maximal mechanical reinforcement. The second aim is to identify conditions, which allow for the melt-processing of the target materials without imparting mechanical damages to the cellulose on account of high shear forces.On account of its exemplary and fundamental character the proposed program will provide an intellectual basis for the processing of polymer nanocomposites comprising cellulose nanocrystals from wood and it is expected that important contributions towards the development of industrially viable processes will be made. Collaborations with industrial partners are already planned for the first phase of the program.
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