Special Issue "Polymer Materials from Renewable Resources"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Sergiu Coseri
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
“Petru Poni” Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry of Romanian Academy, 41 A, Grigore Ghica Voda Alley, 700487 Iasi, Romania
Interests: polysaccharides; cellulose; bio-based materials
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Natural polymers have attracted people since ancient times. Nature can generously provide a spectacular collection of polymers that can be used in fibers, films, adhesives, gels, coatings, foams, thermoplastics, and thermoset resins. These archaic materials have seen an astonishing evolution over the past decades, especially because of the global awareness of the harmful and polluting nature of traditional resources. As a result of modern technologies, new powerful tools have been designed and constructed in order to be able to better elucidate microstructures at different levels, but also to understand the relationships between these microstructures and properties. Because of the tremendous progress made on more accurate knowledge of the structure and properties of natural polymers, new opportunities emerged to develop materials for future applications.

In this Thematic Issue, we propose an exciting collection of papers that comprehend the latest advances made in the production of sustainable polymeric materials from renewable resources, including fundamental research done on the synthesis and characterization of polysaccharides-derived polymers.

For this Special Issue, we look forward to receiving submissions in any form, including review articles, regular research articles, and short communications. Both experimental and theoretical studies are of interest.

Dr. Sergiu Coseri
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Polysaccharides
  • Biodegradable polymers
  • Renewable resources
  • Bio-based materials
  • Polysaccharides functionalization

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Study on the Influence of Noble Metal Nanoparticles (Ag, Au, Pd) on the Photocatalytic Activity of ZnO NPs Embedded in Renewable Castor Oil Polymer Matrices
Materials 2020, 13(16), 3468; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13163468 - 06 Aug 2020
Viewed by 611
Abstract
Hybrid polymeric materials, due to the unique combination of properties that can be obtained by the convenient variation of organic and inorganic components, represent an attractive alternative for many applications, especially photocatalysis. Herein, we report the preparation of nanocomposite films containing functionalized ZnO [...] Read more.
Hybrid polymeric materials, due to the unique combination of properties that can be obtained by the convenient variation of organic and inorganic components, represent an attractive alternative for many applications, especially photocatalysis. Herein, we report the preparation of nanocomposite films containing functionalized ZnO nanoparticles, as well as in situ photogenerated noble metal nanoparticles (Ag, Au, Pd), for the achieving of materials with enhanced photocatalytic activity under visible light. The flexible free-standing nanocomposite films were synthesized by photopolymerization of a monomer mixture (silane castor oil urethane dimethacrylate and polypropylene oxide urethane dimethacrylate) in the presence of a Irgacure 819 photoinitiator. The efficiency of ZnO NPs functionalization was established by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and thermogravimetric analysis, while the polymer composites were characterized by UV-Vis spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy and scanning electron microscopy to evidence the formation, size and distribution of the nanoparticles inside the photocrosslinked matrix. To establish the photocatalytic capacity of nanocomposite films, the decomposition of various pollutants (methyl orange, phenol, metronidazole) was monitored under visible light irradiation, the best results being obtained for Au/ZnO film. Also, the advantage of immobilizing the catalysts in a polymeric support and its recycling ability without a significant decrease in photocatalytic efficiency was analysed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Materials from Renewable Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Cellulose Acetate Incorporating Organically Functionalized CeO2 NPs: Efficient Materials for UV Filtering Applications
Materials 2020, 13(13), 2955; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13132955 - 01 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 708
Abstract
One of the major issues faced when constructing various materials incorporating inorganic nanoparticles (NPs) is aggregation leading to loss of their final activity. In our work, cellulose acetate (CA) has been used to serve as matrix for the synthesis of UV-shielding and transparent [...] Read more.
One of the major issues faced when constructing various materials incorporating inorganic nanoparticles (NPs) is aggregation leading to loss of their final activity. In our work, cellulose acetate (CA) has been used to serve as matrix for the synthesis of UV-shielding and transparent films containing various amounts (1–5 wt.%) of cerium oxide (CeO2) NPs. In order to attain an improved dispersion and a better connectivity between NPs and the cellulose matrix, the surface of CeO2 NPs have been previously functionalized by the reaction with 3-aminopropyl(diethoxy)methylsilane (APDMS). The uniform dispersion of the NPs in the homogeneous thin films has been evidenced by using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Fourier Transformation Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) characterization. The investigation of the optical properties for the hybrid films through UV-Vis spectroscopy revealed that the presence of CeO2 NPs in the CA matrix determined the appearance of strong UV absorption bands in the region 312–317 nm, which supports their use as efficient UV absorbers. This study has shown that UV shielding ability of the nanocomposites can be easily tuned by adjusting the numberof inorganic NPs in the CA template. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Materials from Renewable Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Cellulose Nanocrystals Nanofiller on the Structure and Sorption Properties of Carboxymethyl Cellulose–Glycerol–Cellulose Nanocrystals Nanocomposite Systems
Materials 2020, 13(13), 2900; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13132900 - 28 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 713
Abstract
Biobased materials present a great interest due to their properties and biodegradability. Cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) nanofiller, in various amounts, was incorporated into a carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC)–glycerol (G) matrix in order to obtain nanocomposite systems with improved properties. The effect of the nanofiller on [...] Read more.
Biobased materials present a great interest due to their properties and biodegradability. Cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) nanofiller, in various amounts, was incorporated into a carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC)–glycerol (G) matrix in order to obtain nanocomposite systems with improved properties. The effect of the nanofiller on the structural features was investigated by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, principal component analysis (PCA), two-dimensional correlation spectroscopy (2D-COS), and X-ray diffraction, while the sorption properties were evaluated by water vapor isotherms using the gravimetric method coupled with infrared spectroscopy. We observed the presence of the interactions taking place between the CMC-G and CNC involving the hydroxyl and carboxylate groups, which decreased the number of water sorption sites. Following this, the moisture content in the nanocomposite films decreased with the increase in the amount of CNC. Moreover, the bands associated to water molecules presented different wavenumber values separated for CMC-G and CNC components. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Materials from Renewable Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Recyclable Polymer-Supported N-Hydroxyphthalimide Catalysts for Selective Oxidation of Pullulan
Materials 2019, 12(21), 3585; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12213585 - 31 Oct 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 824
Abstract
This paper proposes a convenient route to oxidize the –CH2–OH groups in the water-soluble pullulan, using a new catalytic polymer-supported N-hydroxyphthalimide (NHPI) immobilized on polystyrene. The protocol involves the presence of sodium hypochlorite and sodium bromide. The conversion is possible [...] Read more.
This paper proposes a convenient route to oxidize the –CH2–OH groups in the water-soluble pullulan, using a new catalytic polymer-supported N-hydroxyphthalimide (NHPI) immobilized on polystyrene. The protocol involves the presence of sodium hypochlorite and sodium bromide. The conversion is possible at room temperature, atmospheric pressure, and pH = 10. The characterization of both the catalysts and oxidized pullulan was done using NMR and FTIR methods. Using polyelectrolyte titration with end-point indication by means of a particle-charge detector (PCD), we were able to assess the degree of electrokinetic charge in all oxidized samples as a consequence of the conversion of the –CH2–OH group into –COOH moieties. The possibility of recovery and recycling of the polymer-supported NHPI catalyst was tested for up to four cycles, since the morphological analyses performed on the catalysts using SEM revealed no significant changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Materials from Renewable Resources)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Dynamic Mechanical Analysis Investigations of PLA-Based Renewable Materials: How Are They Useful?
Materials 2020, 13(22), 5302; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13225302 - 23 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 582
Abstract
Interest in renewable polymers increased exponentially in the last decade and in this context poly(lactic acid) (PLA) became the leader mainly for practical reasons. Nevertheless, it is outstanding also from a scientific point of view, because its thermal and morphological properties are offering [...] Read more.
Interest in renewable polymers increased exponentially in the last decade and in this context poly(lactic acid) (PLA) became the leader mainly for practical reasons. Nevertheless, it is outstanding also from a scientific point of view, because its thermal and morphological properties are offering challenging new insights. With regard to dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), PLA does not have the classical behavior of a thermoplastic polymer. Often, overlapping events (enthalpic relaxation, glass transition and crystallization) that occur as the temperature increases make the DMA result of a PLA look inexplicable even for polymer scientists. This review offers a perspective of the main phenomena that can be revealed in a DMA experiment and systematizes the information that can be obtained for every region (glassy, glass transition, rubbery, cold-crystallization and melting). Also, some unusual patterns registered in some cases will be commented upon. The review intends to offer indices that one should pay attention to in the interpretation of a DMA experiment, even if the investigator has only basic skills with DMA investigations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Materials from Renewable Resources)
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Open AccessReview
Cellulose-Based Hydrogels as Sustained Drug-Delivery Systems
Materials 2020, 13(22), 5270; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13225270 - 21 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 677
Abstract
Hydrogels, three-dimensional (3D) polymer networks, present unique properties, like biocompatibility, biodegradability, tunable mechanical properties, sensitivity to various stimuli, the capacity to encapsulate different therapeutic agents, and the ability of controlled release of the drugs. All these characteristics make hydrogels important candidates for diverse [...] Read more.
Hydrogels, three-dimensional (3D) polymer networks, present unique properties, like biocompatibility, biodegradability, tunable mechanical properties, sensitivity to various stimuli, the capacity to encapsulate different therapeutic agents, and the ability of controlled release of the drugs. All these characteristics make hydrogels important candidates for diverse biomedical applications, one of them being drug delivery. The recent achievements of hydrogels as safe transport systems, with desired therapeutic effects and with minimum side effects, brought outstanding improvements in this area. Moreover, results from the utilization of hydrogels as target therapy strategies obtained in clinical trials are very encouraging for future applications. In this regard, the review summarizes the general concepts related to the types of hydrogel delivery systems, their properties, the main release mechanisms, and the administration pathways at different levels (oral, dermal, ocular, nasal, gastrointestinal tract, vaginal, and cancer therapy). After a general presentation, the review is focused on recent advances in the design, preparation and applications of innovative cellulose-based hydrogels in controlled drug delivery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Materials from Renewable Resources)
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