Advances in the Preparation, Properties and Application of Polyurethane, Cellulose and Their Composites

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Polymer Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 January 2024) | Viewed by 16328

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Special Issue Editors

School of Light Industry and Food Engineering, Guangxi University, Nanning, China
Interests: cellulose; packaging
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
School of Light Industry and Food Engineering, Guangxi University, Nanning, China
Interests: lignocellulose; nanostructure; nanocomposite; sustainable chemistry; structural design; plastic replacement; green functionalization
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Polyurethane, cellulose, and their composites have been widely used in hitherto unimagined areas due to their excellent properties. Along with the fast-increasing consumption in recent years, the demand for advanced polyurethane and cellulose-based composites is growing rapidly. Accordingly, this Special Issue seeks to showcase research papers, short communications, and review articles that focus on innovation in polyurethane and cellulose-based materials, including material synthesis, modification, and engineering.

Dr. Hui Zhao
Dr. Yang Liu
Dr. Yan Jiang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. Polymers is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

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Keywords

  • polyurethane
  • cellulose
  • lignocellulose
  • composites
  • properties

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 7080 KiB  
Article
Development of a Novel Energy Saving and Environmentally Friendly Starch via a Graft Copolymerization Strategy for Efficient Warp Sizing and Easy Removal
by Yuhan Zhu, Fei Guo, Jing Li, Zhen Wang, Zihui Liang and Changhai Yi
Polymers 2024, 16(2), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16020182 - 8 Jan 2024
Viewed by 776
Abstract
Warp sizing is a key process in textile production. However, before the yarn/fabric finishing, such as dyeing, the paste adhering to the warp must be eliminated to ensure optimal dyeing properties and the flexibility of the fabric. Therefore, the sizing will often consume [...] Read more.
Warp sizing is a key process in textile production. However, before the yarn/fabric finishing, such as dyeing, the paste adhering to the warp must be eliminated to ensure optimal dyeing properties and the flexibility of the fabric. Therefore, the sizing will often consume a lot of energy and produce a lot of industrial wastewater, which will cause serious harm to the environment. In this study, we have developed an energy saving and environmentally friendly starch-based slurry by modifying natural starch with acrylamide. The paste has excellent viscosity stability and fiber adhesion, and exhibits excellent performance during warp sizing. In addition, the slurry has good water solubility at 60–70 °C, so it is easy to desize at low temperatures. Because of this, the sizing of the warp can be deslimed directly from the yarn during subsequent washing processes. This work can not only reduce some costs for the textile industry, but also achieve the purpose of energy conservation and emission reduction. Full article
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11 pages, 1946 KiB  
Article
Rigidity with Flexibility: Porous Triptycene Networks for Enhancing Methane Storage
by Fei Guo, Hui Ma, Bin-Bin Yang, Zhen Wang, Xiang-Gao Meng, Jian-Hua Bu and Chun Zhang
Polymers 2024, 16(1), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16010156 - 4 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1021
Abstract
In the pursuit of advancing materials for methane storage, a critical consideration arises given the prominence of natural gas (NG) as a clean transportation fuel, which holds substantial potential for alleviating the strain on both energy resources and the environment in the forthcoming [...] Read more.
In the pursuit of advancing materials for methane storage, a critical consideration arises given the prominence of natural gas (NG) as a clean transportation fuel, which holds substantial potential for alleviating the strain on both energy resources and the environment in the forthcoming decade. In this context, a novel approach is undertaken, employing the rigid triptycene as a foundational building block. This strategy is coupled with the incorporation of dichloromethane and 1,3-dichloropropane, serving as rigid and flexible linkers, respectively. This combination not only enables cost-effective fabrication but also expedites the creation of two distinct triptycene-based hypercrosslinked polymers (HCPs), identified as PTN-70 and PTN-71. Surprisingly, despite PTN-71 manifesting an inferior Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface area when compared to the rigidly linked PTN-70, it showcases remarkably enhanced methane adsorption capabilities, particularly under high-pressure conditions. At a temperature of 275 K and a pressure of 95 bars, PTN-71 demonstrates an impressive methane adsorption capacity of 329 cm3 g−1. This exceptional performance is attributed to the unique flexible network structure of PTN-71, which exhibits a pronounced swelling response when subjected to elevated pressure conditions, thus elucidating its superior methane adsorption characteristics. The development of these advanced materials not only signifies a significant stride in the realm of methane storage but also underscores the importance of tailoring the structural attributes of hypercrosslinked polymers for optimized gas adsorption performance. Full article
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17 pages, 2055 KiB  
Article
Recommended Values for the Hydrophobicity and Mechanical Properties of Coating Materials Usable for Preparing Controlled-Release Fertilizers
by Yajing Wang, Juan Li, Ru Lin, Dianrun Gu, Yuanfang Zhou, Han Li and Xiangdong Yang
Polymers 2023, 15(24), 4687; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15244687 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1024
Abstract
The hydrophobicity and mechanical properties of coating materials and the nitrogen (N) release rates of 11 kinds of controlled-release fertilizers (CRFs) were determined in this study. The results show that the N release periods of the CRFs had negative correlations with the water [...] Read more.
The hydrophobicity and mechanical properties of coating materials and the nitrogen (N) release rates of 11 kinds of controlled-release fertilizers (CRFs) were determined in this study. The results show that the N release periods of the CRFs had negative correlations with the water absorption (WA) of the coating materials (y = 166.06x−1.24, r = 0.986), while they were positively correlated with the water contact angle (WCA) and elongation at break (EB) (y = 37.28x0.18, r = 0.701; y = −19.42 + 2.57x, r = 0.737). According to the fitted functional equation, CRFs that could fulfil the N release period of 30 days had a coating material WA < 2.4%, WCA > 68.8°, and EB > 57.7%. The recommended values for a CRF that can fulfil the N release period of 30 days are WA < 3.0%, WCA > 60.0°, and EB > 30.0% in the coating materials. CRFs with different nutrient release periods can be designed according to the recommended values to meet the needs of different crops. Furthermore, our experiments have illustrated that the N release period target of 30 days can be reached for modified sulfur-coated fertilizers (MSCFs) by improving their mechanical properties. Full article
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15 pages, 2701 KiB  
Article
Green Preparation of Lightweight, High-Strength Cellulose-Based Foam and Evaluation of Its Adsorption Properties
by Yongxing Zhou, Wenbo Yin, Yuliang Guo, Chenni Qin, Yizheng Qin and Yang Liu
Polymers 2023, 15(8), 1879; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15081879 - 14 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1713
Abstract
In recent years, the application scope of most cellulose-based foams is limited due to their low adsorbability and poor recyclability. In this study, a green solvent is used to extract and dissolve cellulose, and the structural stability of the solid foam is enhanced [...] Read more.
In recent years, the application scope of most cellulose-based foams is limited due to their low adsorbability and poor recyclability. In this study, a green solvent is used to extract and dissolve cellulose, and the structural stability of the solid foam is enhanced by adding a secondary liquid via the capillary foam technology, and the strength of the solid foam is improved. In addition, the effects of the addition of different gelatin concentrations on the micro-morphology, crystal structure, mechanical properties, adsorption, and recyclability of the cellulose-based foam are investigated. The results show that the cellulose-based foam structure becomes compact, the crystallinity is decreased, the disorder is increased, and the mechanical properties are improved, but its circulation capacity is decreased. When the volume fraction of gelatin is 2.4%, the mechanical properties of foam are the best. The stress of the foam is 55.746 kPa at 60% deformation, and the adsorption capacity reaches 57.061 g/g. The results can serve as a reference for the preparation of highly stable cellulose-based solid foams with excellent adsorption properties. Full article
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12 pages, 3180 KiB  
Article
Preparation of Bio-Based Foams with a Uniform Pore Structure by Nanocellulose/Nisin/Waterborne-Polyurethane-Stabilized Pickering Emulsion
by Yiqi Chen, Yujie Duan, Han Zhao, Kelan Liu, Yiqing Liu, Min Wu and Peng Lu
Polymers 2022, 14(23), 5159; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14235159 - 27 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2014
Abstract
Bio-based porous materials can reduce energy consumption and environmental impact, and they have a possible application as packaging materials. In this study, a bio-based porous foam was prepared by using a Pickering emulsion as a template. Nisin and waterborne polyurethane (WPU) were used [...] Read more.
Bio-based porous materials can reduce energy consumption and environmental impact, and they have a possible application as packaging materials. In this study, a bio-based porous foam was prepared by using a Pickering emulsion as a template. Nisin and waterborne polyurethane (WPU) were used for physical modification of 2,2,6,6-tetramethyl piperidine-1-oxyl-oxidized cellulose nanocrystals (TOCNC). The obtained composite particles were applied as stabilizers for acrylated epoxidized soybean oil (AESO) Pickering emulsion. The stability of the emulsion was characterized by determination of the rheological properties and microscopic morphology of the emulsion. The emulsion stabilized by composite particles showed better stability compared to case when TOCNC were used. The porous foam was obtained by heating a composite-particles-stabilized Pickering emulsion at 90 °C for 2 h. SEM (scanning electron microscopy) images showed that the prepared foam had uniformly distributed pores. In addition, the thermal conductivity of the foam was 0.33 W/m·k, which was a significant decrease compared to the 3.92 W/m·k of the TOCNC foam. The introduction of nisin and WPU can reduce the thermal conductivity of the foam, and the physically modified, TOCNC-stabilized Pickering emulsion provides an effective means to preparing bio-based porous materials. Full article
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16 pages, 6081 KiB  
Article
Study on Degradation of 1,2,4-TrCB by Sugarcane Cellulose-TiO2 Carrier in an Intimate Coupling of Photocatalysis and Biodegradation System
by Zhenqi Zhou, Chunlin Jiao, Yinna Liang, Ang Du, Jiaming Zhang, Jianhua Xiong, Guoning Chen, Hongxiang Zhu and Lihai Lu
Polymers 2022, 14(21), 4774; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14214774 - 7 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1627
Abstract
1,2,4 trichlorobenzene (1,2,4-TrCB) is a persistent organic pollutant with chemical stability, biological toxicity, and durability, which has a significant adverse impact on the ecological environment and human health. In order to solve the pollution problem, bagasse cellulose is used as the basic framework [...] Read more.
1,2,4 trichlorobenzene (1,2,4-TrCB) is a persistent organic pollutant with chemical stability, biological toxicity, and durability, which has a significant adverse impact on the ecological environment and human health. In order to solve the pollution problem, bagasse cellulose is used as the basic framework and nano TiO2 is used as the photocatalyst to prepare composite carriers with excellent performance. Based on this, an intimate coupling of photocatalysis and biodegradation (ICPB) system combining photocatalysis and microorganisms is constructed. We use the combined technology for the first time to deal with the pollution problem of 1,2,4-TrCB. The biofilm in the composite carrier can decompose the photocatalytic products so that the removal rate of 1,2,4-TrCB is 68.01%, which is 14.81% higher than those of biodegradation or photocatalysis alone, and the mineralization rate is 50.30%, which is 11.50% higher than that of photocatalysis alone. The degradation pathways and mechanisms of 1,2,4-TrCB are explored, which provide a theoretical basis and potential application for the efficient degradation of 1,2,4-TrCB and other refractory organics by the ICPB system. Full article
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10 pages, 2189 KiB  
Article
Accurate Determination of Moisture Content in Flavor Microcapsules Using Headspace Gas Chromatography
by Xueyan Liu, Chuxing Zhu, Kang Yu, Wei Li, Yingchun Luo, Yi Dai and Hao Wang
Polymers 2022, 14(15), 3002; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14153002 - 25 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2105
Abstract
This study demonstrates an accurate method for determining the moisture content in flavor microcapsules using headspace gas chromatography. The method involves measuring the gas chromatography signals of water from vapor in a headspace vial containing flavor microcapsules at a temperature of 125 °C. [...] Read more.
This study demonstrates an accurate method for determining the moisture content in flavor microcapsules using headspace gas chromatography. The method involves measuring the gas chromatography signals of water from vapor in a headspace vial containing flavor microcapsules at a temperature of 125 °C. The measurements were recorded over four headspace extractions, from which the moisture content in the microcapsule samples was extrapolated via simple vapor-phase calibration. The results revealed that the proposed method demonstrated good precision (a relative standard deviation of <3.11%) and accuracy. The proposed method is accurate, highly sensitive, automated, and suitable for testing the moisture content of flavor microcapsules and related products. Full article
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15 pages, 4874 KiB  
Article
A Cellulose-Type Carrier for Intimate Coupling Photocatalysis and Biodegradation
by Zhou Wan, Chunlin Jiao, Qilin Feng, Jue Wang, Jianhua Xiong, Guoning Chen, Shuangfei Wang and Hongxiang Zhu
Polymers 2022, 14(15), 2998; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14152998 - 24 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1784
Abstract
Intimate coupling photocatalysis and biodegradation treatment technology is an emerging technology in the treatment of refractory organic matter, and the carrier plays an important role in this technology. In this paper, sugarcane cellulose was used as the basic skeleton, absorbent cotton was used [...] Read more.
Intimate coupling photocatalysis and biodegradation treatment technology is an emerging technology in the treatment of refractory organic matter, and the carrier plays an important role in this technology. In this paper, sugarcane cellulose was used as the basic skeleton, absorbent cotton was used as a reinforcing agent, anhydrous sodium sulfate was used as a pore-forming agent to prepare a cellulose porous support with good photocatalytic performance, and nano-TiO2 was loaded onto it by a low-temperature bonding method. The results showed that the optimal preparation conditions of cellulose carriers were: cellulose mass fraction 1.0%; absorbent cotton 0.6 g; and Na2SO4 60 g. The SEM, EDS and XPS characterization further indicated that the nano-TiO2 was uniformly loaded onto the cellulose support. The degradation experiments of Rhodamine B showed that the nano-TiO2-loaded composite supports had good photocatalytic performance. The degradation rate of 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene was more than 92% after 6 cycles, and the experiment of adhering a large number of microorganisms on the carriers before and after the reaction showed that the cellulose-based carriers obtained the required photocatalytic performance and stability, which is a good cellulose porous carrier. Full article
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15 pages, 2207 KiB  
Article
Preparation and Recognition Properties of Molecularly Imprinted Nanofiber Membrane of Chrysin
by Yaohui Wang, Long Li, Gege Cheng, Lanfu Li, Xiuyu Liu and Qin Huang
Polymers 2022, 14(12), 2398; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14122398 - 14 Jun 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1759
Abstract
The separation and extraction of chrysin from active ingredients of natural products are of great significance, but the existing separation and extraction methods have certain drawbacks. Here, chrysin molecularly imprinted nanofiber membranes (MINMs) were prepared by means of electrospinning using chrysin as a [...] Read more.
The separation and extraction of chrysin from active ingredients of natural products are of great significance, but the existing separation and extraction methods have certain drawbacks. Here, chrysin molecularly imprinted nanofiber membranes (MINMs) were prepared by means of electrospinning using chrysin as a template and polyvinyl alcohol and natural renewable resource rosin ester as membrane materials, which were used for the separation of active components in the natural product. The MINM was examined using Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The adsorption performance, adsorption kinetics, adsorption selectivity, and reusability of the MINM were investigated in static adsorption experiments. The analysis results show that the MINM was successfully prepared with good morphology and thermal stability. The MINM has a good adsorption capacity for chrysin, showing fast adsorption kinetics, and the maximum adsorption capacity was 127.5 mg·g−1, conforming to the Langmuir isotherm model and pseudo-second-order kinetic model. In addition, the MINM exhibited good selectivity and excellent reusability. Therefore, the MINM proposed in this paper is a promising material for the adsorption and separation of chrysin. Full article
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15 pages, 6927 KiB  
Article
Removing Calcium Ions from Remelt Syrup with Rosin-Based Macroporous Cationic Resin
by Gege Cheng, Wenwen Li, Long Li, Fuhou Lei, Xiuyu Liu and Qin Huang
Polymers 2022, 14(12), 2397; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14122397 - 14 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1788
Abstract
Mineral ions (mainly calcium ions) from sugarcane juice can be trapped inside the heating tubes of evaporators and vacuum boiling pans, and calcium ions are precipitated. Consequently, sugar productivity and yield are negatively affected. Calcium ions can be removed from sugarcane juice using [...] Read more.
Mineral ions (mainly calcium ions) from sugarcane juice can be trapped inside the heating tubes of evaporators and vacuum boiling pans, and calcium ions are precipitated. Consequently, sugar productivity and yield are negatively affected. Calcium ions can be removed from sugarcane juice using adsorption. This paper described the experimental condition for the batch adsorption performance of rosin-based macroporous cationic resins (RMCRs) for calcium ions. The kinetics of adsorption was defined by the pseudo-first-order model, and the isotherms of calcium ions followed the Freundlich isotherm model. The maximal monolayer adsorption capacity of calcium ions was 37.05 mg·g−1 at a resin dosage of 4 g·L−1, pH of 7.0, temperature of 75 °C, and contact time of 10 h. It appeared that the adsorption was spontaneous and endothermic based on the thermodynamic parameters. The removal rate of calcium ions in remelt syrup by RMCRs was 90.71%. Calcium ions were effectively removed from loaded RMCRs by 0.1 mol·L−1 of HCl, and the RMCRs could be recycled. The dynamic saturated adsorption capacity of RMCRs for calcium ions in remelt syrup was 37.90 mg·g−1. These results suggest that RMCRs are inexpensive and efficient adsorbents and have potential applications for removing calcium ions in remelt syrup. Full article
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