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Open AccessArticle

Chemical Modification and Processing of Chitin for Sustainable Production of Biobased Electrolytes

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Faculty of Science and Technology, School of Chemical Sciences and Food Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, UKM Bangi 43600, Selangor DarulEhsan, Malaysia
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Laboratory of Organometallic and Macromolecular Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences and Technologies, Cadi Ayyad University, Avenue AbdelkrimElkhattabi, B.P. 549, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
3
Materials Research and Technology Department (MRT), Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), 5 Avenue des Hauts-Fourneaux, L-4362 Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(1), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12010207
Received: 19 December 2019 / Revised: 8 January 2020 / Accepted: 9 January 2020 / Published: 14 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitin and Chitosan: Properties and Applications II)
In the present work we report on the development of a novel and sustainable electrolyte based on chitin. Chitin biopolymer was carboxymethylated in simple, mild, and green conditions in order to fine-tune the final properties of the electrolyte. To this end, chitin was modified for various reaction times, while the molar ratio of the reagents, e.g., sodium hydroxide and monochloroacetic acid, was maintained fixed. The resulting chitin derivatives were characterized using various techniques. Under optimized conditions, modified chitin derivatives exhibiting a distinct degree of carboxymethylation and acetylation were obtained. Structural features, morphology, and properties are discussed in relation to the chemical structure of the chitin derivatives. For electrolyte applications, the ionic conductivity increased by three magnitudes from 10−9 S·cm−1 for unmodified chitin to 10−6 S·cm−1 for modified chitin with the highest degree of acetylation. Interestingly, the chitin derivatives formed free-standing films with and without the addition of up to 60% of ionic liquid, the ionic conductivity of the obtained solid electrolyte system reaching the value of 10−3 S·cm−1.
Keywords: chitin; Carboxymethylation; deacetylation; solid polymer electrolyte; ionic liquid chitin; Carboxymethylation; deacetylation; solid polymer electrolyte; ionic liquid
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MDPI and ACS Style

Latifi, M.; Ahmad, A.; Kaddami, H.; Hasyareeda Hassan, N.; Dieden, R.; Habibi, Y. Chemical Modification and Processing of Chitin for Sustainable Production of Biobased Electrolytes. Polymers 2020, 12, 207.

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