Date of Award

7-1-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

Degree Name

M.S.

Department

Chemistry

First Advisor

Eric A. Mintz, Ph.D

Abstract

Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) are of great interest as reinforcing phases for polymer matrix composites; however, CNCs and CNFs prepared by the sulfuric acid hydrolysis and TEMPO process, respectively, have been reported to lack the thermal stability necessary for incorporation in many polymer systems. We have compared the thermal stability of CNCs and CNFs prepared by the sulfuric acid hydrolysis, TEMPO, and AVAP® processes and the corresponding starting materials by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). We found that the AVAP® process does not appreciably reduce the thermal stability of the nanocellulose relative to the cellulose in the starting material. Sulfuric acid hydrolysis and TEMPO oxidation of cellulose gives CNCs and CNFs, respectively, that have a much lower thermal stability than the cellulose from which they were prepared.

X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) analysis was used to examine the degree of crystallinity and crystallite size of the nanomaterials and corresponding starting materials; however, the degree of crystallinity determined by XRD showed no correlation with the thermal stability of the nanocellulose materials.

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