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Macromol, Volume 1, Issue 4 (December 2021) – 3 articles

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Review
Composites of Vegetable Oil-Based Polymers and Carbon Nanomaterials
Macromol 2021, 1(4), 276-292; https://doi.org/10.3390/macromol1040019 - 01 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 980
Abstract
Owed to current environmental concerns and crude oil price fluctuations, the design of feasible substitutes to petroleum-based polymeric materials is a major challenge. A lot of effort has been focused on transforming natural vegetable oils (VOs), which are inexpensive, abundant, and sustainable, into [...] Read more.
Owed to current environmental concerns and crude oil price fluctuations, the design of feasible substitutes to petroleum-based polymeric materials is a major challenge. A lot of effort has been focused on transforming natural vegetable oils (VOs), which are inexpensive, abundant, and sustainable, into polymeric materials. Different nanofillers have been combined with these bio-based polymer matrices to improve their thermal, mechanical, and antibacterial properties. The development of multifunctional nanocomposites materials facilitates their application in novel areas such as sensors, medical devices, coatings, paints, adhesives, food packaging, and other industrial appliances. In this work, a brief description of current literature on polymeric nanocomposites from vegetable oils reinforced with carbon nanomaterials is provided, in terms of preparation, and properties. Different strategies to improve the nanomaterial state of dispersion within the biopolymer matrix are discussed, and a correlation between structure and properties is given. In particular, the mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties of these natural polymers can be considerably enhanced through the addition of small quantities of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), graphene (G), or its derivatives such as graphene oxide (GO) or fullerenes (C60). Finally, some current and potential future applications of these materials in diverse fields are briefly discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functionalization of Polymers for Advanced Applications)
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Article
Super-Adsorbent Hydrogels for Removal of Methylene Blue from Aqueous Solution: Dye Adsorption Isotherms, Kinetics, and Thermodynamic Properties
Macromol 2021, 1(4), 256-275; https://doi.org/10.3390/macromol1040018 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1150
Abstract
Removal of dyes through adsorption from wastewater has gained substantial interest in recent years, especially in development of hydrogel based adsorbents, owing to their easy use and economical nature. The aim of the present study was to design a super-adsorbent hydrogel based on [...] Read more.
Removal of dyes through adsorption from wastewater has gained substantial interest in recent years, especially in development of hydrogel based adsorbents, owing to their easy use and economical nature. The aim of the present study was to design a super-adsorbent hydrogel based on sodium styrenesulfonate (NaSS) monomer for removal of dyes like methylene blue (MB). NaSS displays both an aromatic ring and strongly ionic group in its monomer structure that can enhance adsorption capacity. Poly(sodium styrenesulfonate-co-dimethylacrylamide) hydrogels were prepared by solution free radical polymerization using gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) as crosslinker, creating a highly porous, three-dimensionally crosslinked polymer network contributing to higher swelling ratios of up to 27,500%. These super-adsorbent hydrogels exhibited high adsorption capacity of 1270 mg/g for MB adsorption with above 98% removal efficiency. This is the first report for such a high adsorption capacity for dye absorbance for NaSS-based hydrogels. Additionally, the adsorption kinetics using a pseudo-first-order and the Freundlich adsorption isotherm models for multilayer, heterogeneous adsorption processes has been reported. The adsorbents’ reusability was confirmed through 4 repeated cycles of desorption-adsorption. The results discussed herein illustrate that NaSS based chemistries can be used as an efficient option for removal of organic dyes from contaminated wastewater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Colloids and Interfaces)
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Article
Aspects of the Synthesis of Poly(styrene-block-isobutylene-block-styrene) by TiCl4-Co-initiated Cationic Polymerization in Open Conditions
Macromol 2021, 1(4), 243-255; https://doi.org/10.3390/macromol1040017 - 01 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1211
Abstract
The cationic polymerization of isobutylene and its block copolymerization with styrene using DiCumCl/TiCl4/2,6-lutidine initiating system has been studied in open conditions. It was shown that a higher concentration of proton trap is required in open conditions as compared to the glove [...] Read more.
The cationic polymerization of isobutylene and its block copolymerization with styrene using DiCumCl/TiCl4/2,6-lutidine initiating system has been studied in open conditions. It was shown that a higher concentration of proton trap is required in open conditions as compared to the glove box technique in order to have good control over molecular weight and polydispersity. Polyisobutylenes with Mn ≤ 50,000 g mol−1 and low polydispersity (Đ ≤ 1.2) were prepared at [Lu] = 12 mM. The synthesis of poly(styrene-block-isobutylene-block-styrene) triblock copolymer (SIBS) in open conditions required the addition of proton trap into two steps, half at the beginning of the reaction and the second half together with styrene. Following this protocol, a series of triblock copolymers with different length of central polyisobutylene block (from Mn = 20,000 g mol−1 to 50,000 g mol−1) and side polystyrene blocks (Mn = 4000 g mol−1–9000 g mol−1) with low polydispersity (Đ ≤ 1.25) were synthesized. High molecular SIBS (Mn > 50,000 g mol−1) with low polydispersity (Đ < 1.3) containing longer polystyrene blocks (Mn > 6000 g mol−1) demonstrated higher tensile strength (~13.5 MPa). Full article
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