Fine-Tune Cellulose Crystals in Biocomposites | Rutgers University Innovation Ventures

Fine-Tune Cellulose Crystals in Biocomposites

Morphology change from crystalline (I. Pure Cellulose) to amorphous

(III. coagulated in water) or semi-crystalline (IV. coagulated in H2O2)


Invention Summary:

Natural materials such as cellulose or silk can be used in a multitude of applications such as electrolyte batteries, filters, drug delivery systems and scaffolds for tissue engineering. Transforming natural resources from their native state to a more usable form is non-trivial and is technically challenging.

Rutgers Researchers and collaborators have developed a facile method to modulate the crystallinity and crystal size of cellulose. By dissolving in ionic liquid and coagulating with hydrogen peroxide solution, the crystallinity of cellulose in biocomposite was enhanced, while the coagulation in water or ethanol produced amorphous cellulose. The level of crystallinity and crystal size were also tunable by hydrogen peroxide concentration. This new process could potentially be applied to many products, including textiles, paper, and pulp.


Market Applications:

  • Increase level of crystallinity of cellulose
  • Cellulose hydrolysis process
  • Production of strong biocomposite films
  • Reclaim waste product into in-line production

Advantages:

  • Fine-tune cellulose crystallinity and crystal size without introduction of contaminant, with H2O and O2 as the only by-products
  • Versatile with multiple solvents
  • Could be an addition step into the cellulose hydrolysis process or Lyocell process

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Patent pending. Available for licensing and/or research collaboration.

Publication:

Love et al. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules. 2020, 147, 569-575.

Blessing et al. Polymer International 2019, 68, 1580-159.0

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Patent Information: