Morphological investigation of cellulose nanocrystals and nanocomposite applications

Abstract : Since this thesis presents two independent studies on cellulose nanocrystals, the abstract was divided in two sections referring to chapters II and III, respectively.Comprehensive morphological and structural investigation of cellulose I and II nanocrystals prepared by sulfuric acid hydrolysisCellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) were produced from eucalyptus wood pulp using three different methods: i) classical sulfuric acid hydrolysis (CN-I), ii) acid hydrolysis of cellulose previously mercerized by alkaline treatment (MCN-II), and iii) solubilization of cellulose in sulfuric acid and subsequent recrystallization in water (RCN-II). The three types of CNCs exhibited different morphologies and crystal structures that were characterized using complementary imaging, diffraction and spectroscopic techniques. CN-I corresponded to the type I allomorph of cellulose while MCN-II and RCN-II corresponded to cellulose II. CN-I and MCN-II CNCs were acicular particles composed of a few laterally-bound elementary crystallites. In both cases, the cellulose chains were oriented parallel to the long axis of the particle, although they were parallel in CN-I and antiparallel in MCN-II. RCN-II particles exhibited a slightly tortuous ribbon-like shape and it was shown that the chains lay perpendicular to the particle long axis and parallel to their basal plane. The unique molecular and crystal structure of the RCN-II particles implies that a higher number of reducing chain ends are located at the surface of the particles, which may be important for subsequent chemical modification. While other authors have described nanoparticles prepared by regeneration of short-chain cellulose solutions, no detailed description was proposed in terms of particle morphology, crystal structure and chain orientation. Was provide such a description in the present document.Mechanical properties of natural rubber nanocomposites reinforced with high aspect ratio cellulose nanocrystals isolated from soy hullsCellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) were isolated from soy hulls by sulfuric acid hydrolysis. The resulting CNCs were characterized using TEM, AFM, WAXS, elemental analysis and TGA. The CNCs have a high crystallinity, specific surface area and aspect ratio. The aspect ratio (around 100) is the largest ever reported in the literature for a plant cellulose source. These CNCs were used as a reinforcing phase to prepare nanocomposite films by casting/evaporation using natural rubber as matrix. The mechanical properties were studied in both the linear and non-linear ranges. The reinforcing effect was higher than the one observed for CNCs extracted from other sources. It may be assigned not only to the high aspect ratio of these CNCs but also to the stiffness of the percolating nanoparticle network formed within the polymer matrix. Moreover, the sedimentation of CNCs during the evaporation step was found to play a crucial role on the mechanical properties.
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Wilson Pires Flauzino Neto. Morphological investigation of cellulose nanocrystals and nanocomposite applications. Micro and nanotechnologies/Microelectronics. Université Grenoble Alpes; Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017GREAI003⟩. ⟨tel-01625576⟩

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