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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 1989; doi:10.3390/ijms17121989

Macromolecular Interactions Control Structural and Thermal Properties of Regenerated Tri-Component Blended Films

1
Department of Biology, Rutgers University-Camden, 315 Penn Street, Camden, NJ 08102, USA
2
Department of Chemistry, Rutgers University-Camden, 315 Penn Street, Camden, NJ 08102, USA
3
Center for Computational and Integrative Biology, Rutgers University-Camden, 315 Penn Street, Camden, NJ 08102, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Peter Hesemann and Andreas Taubert
Received: 25 October 2016 / Revised: 22 November 2016 / Accepted: 23 November 2016 / Published: 28 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ionic Liquids 2016 and Selected Papers from ILMAT III)
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Abstract

With a growing need for sustainable resources research has become highly interested in investigating the structure and physical properties of biomaterials composed of natural macromolecules. In this study, we assessed the structural, morphological, and thermal properties of blended, regenerated films comprised of cellulose, lignin, and hemicellulose (xylan) using the ionic liquid 1-allyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride (AMIMCl). Attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) analysis, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray scattering, and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) were used to qualitatively and quantitatively measure bonding interactions, morphology, and thermal stability of the regenerated films. The results demonstrated that the regenerated films’ structural, morphological, and thermal character changed as a function of lignin-xylan concentration. The decomposition temperature rose according to an increase in lignin content and the surface topography of the regenerated films changed from fibrous to spherical patterns. This suggests that lignin-xylan concentration alters the self-assembly of lignin and the cellulose microfibril development. X-ray scattering confirms the extent of the morphological and molecular changes. Our data reveals that the inter- and intra-molecular interactions with the cellulose crystalline domains, along with the amount of disorder in the system, control the microfibril dimensional characteristics, lignin self-assembly, and possibly the overall material′s structural and thermal properties. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomaterials; ionic liquids; morphology; lignin; self-assembly; microfibril; X-ray scattering; lignocellulose biomaterials; ionic liquids; morphology; lignin; self-assembly; microfibril; X-ray scattering; lignocellulose
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lewis, A.; Waters, J.C.; Stanton, J.; Hess, J.; Salas-de la Cruz, D. Macromolecular Interactions Control Structural and Thermal Properties of Regenerated Tri-Component Blended Films. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 1989.

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