Special Issue "Environmentally Friendly Polymeric Blends from Renewable Sources"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2020.
Interests: Synthesis of new monomers and polymers; chemical modification of synthetic and natural polymers; synthesis of porous polymers for applications in various chromatographic techniques; synthesis of novel polymer-based adsorbents having desired properties for health and environmental protection; synthesis and applications of imprinted polymers; synthesis and investigations of carbon adsorbents from synthetic and natural polymers; chromatographic analysis; investigations of porous structure of polymeric materials; use of recycled polymers in the synthesis; environmental protection, wasteless processes.
Interests: wood chemistry; chemistry of pulping and bleaching; extraction and structural characterization of biomass-derived polymers; physical and chemical modification of natural polymers; development of novel materials from biomass-derived polymers for uses in environmental protection and healthcare
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Materials from renewable resources have attracted increasing attention in the past decades as a result of environmental concerns and due to the depletion of petroleum resources. Polymeric materials from renewable sources have a long history. They were used in ancient times and later accompanied man along with the development of civilization. Currently, they are widespread in many areas of life and used, for example, in packaging and in the automotive and pharmaceutical industries.
Polymers from renewable resources are generally classified into three groups: i) Natural polymers, such as cellulose, starch, and proteins; ii) synthetic polymers from natural monomers, such as poly(lactic acid); and iii) polymers from microbial processes, such as poly(hydroxybutyrate). The emergence of new methods and analytical tools provides a new level of understanding of the structure–properties relationship of natural polymers and allows the development of materials for new applications.
One of the attractive properties of the natural polymers and synthetic polymers produced from natural monomers is their inherited biodegradability. However, this is related to their moisture sensitivity, which limits their application. Other important limitations of most polymers from renewable resources are their lower softening temperature and mechanical strength. These and many other properties of polymers can be modified and improved through the blending of two or more compounds, for example, two or more polymers, polymers and fibers, polymers and nanoparticles, etc.
A blending approach is an effective way to achieve a desirable combination of properties which are often absent in the individual components. The final properties can be modified by changing the relative concentration and kind of monomeric units used in the synthesis or by varying the proportion of homopolymers and various additives in a blend composition. Development of effective methods of manufacturing products from blends of renewable polymers and environmentally friendly synthetic polymers in a controlled way is the challenge of our time.
The aim of this Special Issue is to highlight progress in the manufacturing, characterization, and applications of environmentally friendly polymeric blends from renewable resources. It is our pleasure to invite you to submit your manuscript for it.
Prof. Barbara Gawdzik
Dr. Olena Sevastyanova
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- Polymer blends
- Renewable resources
- Environmentally friendly polymers
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
Planned Paper 1
Title: Biocomposites from rice straw nanofibers: morphology, thermal and mechanical properties
Authors: José Carlos Alcántara 1, Israel González 2 M. Mercè Pareta 3 and Fabiola Vilaseca 1,4,*
1 Advanced Biomaterial and Nanotechnology, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Polytechnic School, University of Girona, C/M. Aurèlia Capmany, 61, 17003 Girona, Spain
2LEPAMAP Group, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Polytechnic School, University of Girona, C/M. Aurèlia Capmany, 61, 17003 Girona, Spain
3Dept. of Architecture and Construction, Polytechnic School, Campus Montility, University of Girona, 17003 Girona, Spain
4Dept. of Fiber and Polymer Technology, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Planned Paper 2
Title: The influence of lignin diversity on the structural and thermal properties of polymeric microspheres
Authors:Marta Goliszek 1, Beata Podkościelna 1, Olena Sevastyanova 2, Barbara Gawdzik 1, Artur Chabros 1
1 Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Faculty of Chemistry, Department of Polymer Chemistry, M. Curie-Sklodowska Sq. 3, 20-031 Lublin, Poland
2 KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Department of Fibre and Polymer Technology, Wallenberg Wood Science Center, SE-10044, Stockholm, Sweden
Abstract: This work investigates the impact of lignin fractionation process on the properties of biopolymeric materials in the form of porous microspheres. Two types of kraft lignin, softwood (Norwegian spruce) and hardwood (Eucalyptus grandis), fractionated by common industrial solvents (ethyl acetate, methanol and ethanol) into materials with low polydispersity, varied molecular weight and functionalities (contents of carboxylic, phenolic and aliphatic hydroxyl groups) were used for the synthesis of polymeric microspheres with styrene (St) and/or divinylbenzene (DVB). For the synthesis of microspheres, both unmodified and modified with methacryloyl chloride lignin was used. The chemical structures of the lignin and corresponding microspheres were investigated by ATR/FT-IR method, while the thermal properties were studied by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The microsphere’s texture was characterized using low-temperature nitrogen adsorption analysis. The swelling studies were performed in typical organic solvents and distilled water. The shapes of the microspheres were confirmed by optical microscope. The introduction of lignin fractions into polymeric system allowed to obtain functionalized microspheres with highly developed porosity that increases their potential in sorption processes. Chemically modified lignin took part in the creation of polymer network with St and DVB, whereas an unmodified one acted mainly as an ecofriendly filler. The incorporation of biopolymer into the structure of microspheres could be a promising alternative to modification of synthetic materials and to better utilization of lignin.
Keywords: Lignin; microspheres; composites; polymeric material; fractionation; porosity
Planned Paper 3:
Title: Biobased composites from BioPE and Barley thermomechanical fibers: Micromechanics of composites
Author: Serra-Parareda, F.a, Tarrés, Q.a, Delgado-Aguilar, M.a, Espinach, F.X.b, Mutjé, P.a, Vilaseca, Fc,d*
a LEPAMAP Group, Dpt. of Chemical Engineering, University of Girona, Girona 17003, Spain
b Design, Development and Product Innovation, Dept. of Organization, Business, University of Girona, Girona 17003, Spain
c Advanced Biomaterials and Nanotechnology, Dpt. of Chemical Engineering, University of Girona, Girona 17003, Spain
d Dept. of Fiber and Polymer Technology, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Planned Paper 4
Title: Curauá fibers as potential substitute of glass-fiber in polypropylene-based composites for the automotive sector: a technical and environmental approach
Authors: Delgado-Aguilar, M.a, Espinach, F.X.b, Julián, F.b, Tarrés, Q.a, Mutjé, Pa., Vilaseca, F.c,d,*
a LEPAMAP group, University of Girona. C/ Maria Aurèlia Capmany – 17003 Girona (Spain)
b Design, Development and Product Innovation, Department of Organization, Business Management and Product Design, University of Girona, 17003 Girona, Spain
c Advanced Biomaterials and Nanotechnology, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Polytechnic School, University of Girona, C/M. Aurèlia Capmany, 61, 17003 Girona, Spain
d Dept. of Fiber and Polymer Technology, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Abstract: During the last years, the environmental awareness on the use of plastics in our daily life has raised significantly. A clear example is the recent Directive on single-use-plastics proposed by the European Commission to tackle marine litter. Plastics are very often reinforced with glass, carbon or aramid fibers, which are not bio-based or biodegradable and the automotive sector is one major consumer. Curauá plant belongs to the Bromeliad family and grows in the Amazon region. The chemical composition and the intrinsic properties of Curauá fibers make them attractive as reinforcement for thermoplastics, to substitute mineral fibers. In this work, composite materials based on polypropylene reinforced with curauá fibers are proposed to develop automotive parts (arm rest and glove box lid). From the studied formulations, Young’s modulus of around 6 GPa was reached and increments of about 100% for the flexural strength were obtained. A finite element analysis of the proposed automotive parts, together with a carbon footprint analysis, demonstrated the ability of curauá-based composites to be used in replacement of glass fiber-based materials for the considered applications.