Special Issue "Synthesis and Characterization of Bio-Based Polymers"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is well known both in the academic as well as the industrial field that polymers, widely known as plastics, are essential to ensure the safety and quality of goods. Polymers are the most important class of materials extensively studied and used for several applications due to their unique properties, such as their light weight, malleability, mechanical strength, gas barrier behavior, ease of process, versatility, and so on. However, producers and consumers are demanding more and more that polymer materials be formulated with eco-friendly and sustainable attributes to reduce the use of petroleum resources and/or minimize environmental concerns related to both recycling and wastes treatment. Consequently, the field of sustainable polymers is growing and evolving at unprecedented rates. The requirement of new technologies integrated with environmental sustainability has become even more pressing and, between different possibilities, the development of bio-based polymers is one of the fields receiving the most attention. The use of sustainable resources instead of fossil-based resources is seen as one interesting possibility. Biomass feedstocks, used for the production of, for example, bio-ethanol, bio-diesel, bio-olefins and, in general, bio-chemicals, are considered sustainable resources that could be converted into raw materials for producing the so-called “bio-based polymers”.

The aim of this Special Issue is to give an overview of ongoing scientific and industrial research of recent technological breakthroughs in the field of synthesis, characterization, and application of bio-based polymers.

Research as well as review articles are welcome.

Prof. Valentina Siracusa
Guest Editor

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.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 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.

Keywords

  • Bio-based polymers
  • Bio-based polyesters
  • Random bio-based polymers
  • Block bio-based polymers
  • Structure-properties polymer relationship
  • Sustainable polymers
  • Green polymers
  • Eco-friendly plastics
  • Food waste polymers
  • Biomass feedstoks
  • Furanoate-based bio-polymers
  • Bio-olefins
  • Biodegradable polymers
  • Compostability

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Epoxidation of Fatty Acid Methyl Esters Derived from Algae Biomass to Develop Sustainable Bio-Based Epoxy Resins
Polymers 2020, 12(10), 2313; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12102313 - 10 Oct 2020
Abstract
The objective of this research was to investigate the development of epoxides from Chlorella vulgaris lipids to obtain a novel bio-based resin. The process involved the production of fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) by in situ transesterification of microalgal biomass, followed by epoxidation [...] Read more.
The objective of this research was to investigate the development of epoxides from Chlorella vulgaris lipids to obtain a novel bio-based resin. The process involved the production of fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) by in situ transesterification of microalgal biomass, followed by epoxidation of the FAMEs to obtain bioresin. During the FAME production process, an assessment was made of the main factors affecting the production of unsaturated fatty acid methyl esters (UFAMEs), such as catalyst dosage and methanol:hexane volume ratio. For step epoxidation, an evaluation of the catalyst concentration, temperature and formic acid:hydrogen peroxide ratio was made. From the results obtained, UFAME production was maximized using 20 wt% of catalyst dosage and a volume ratio of 1:2 (v/v, methanol:hexane). Then, in the epoxidation stage, a higher yield was obtained using 1 wt% of catalyst with a volume ratio of 1:1 and maintaining a temperature of 70 °C. The bioresin was blended with neat epoxy resin (DGEBA) and cured with tetraethylenepentamine (TEPA). Bio-based resin was characterized via Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) to evaluate this material as an alternative source for oleochemistry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Characterization of Bio-Based Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Silica-Filler on Polyurethane Adhesives Based on Renewable Resource for Wood Bonding
Polymers 2020, 12(10), 2177; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12102177 - 24 Sep 2020
Abstract
The aim of the study was to evaluate the applicability and performance of polyglycerol- and sucrose-based polyols as components of a simplified formulation of polyurethane adhesives. Colloidal silica was used as a viscosity control and reinforcing agent. The adhesives were examined in terms [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to evaluate the applicability and performance of polyglycerol- and sucrose-based polyols as components of a simplified formulation of polyurethane adhesives. Colloidal silica was used as a viscosity control and reinforcing agent. The adhesives were examined in terms of reactivity, thermal stability, viscosity, work of adhesion, wetting, surface energy, and bonding strength on wooden substrates. Silica was found to increase gelling time, but markedly improved bonding strength and adhesion with substrates. Bonded solid beech wood samples prepared at 80, 110, and 130 °C showed shear strengths between 7.1 MPa and 9.9 MPa with 100% wood failure. The renewable resource-based polyols were demonstrated to be useful in formulation of polyurethane adhesives for furniture industry—especially with silica as a filler. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Characterization of Bio-Based Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Utilization of Noxious Weed Water Hyacinth Biomass as a Potential Feedstock for Biopolymers Production: A Novel Approach
Polymers 2020, 12(8), 1704; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12081704 - 29 Jul 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
This study aims to utilize a noxious weed water hyacinth biomass (WH) for polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) production. Alkaline and peracetic acid pretreatment was employed for the hydrolysis of WH and consequently enzymatic saccharification to produce fermentable sugars for PHB production. The pretreatment competence was [...] Read more.
This study aims to utilize a noxious weed water hyacinth biomass (WH) for polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) production. Alkaline and peracetic acid pretreatment was employed for the hydrolysis of WH and consequently enzymatic saccharification to produce fermentable sugars for PHB production. The pretreatment competence was determined using various operational parameters. By applying ambient conditions, alkaline pretreatment gave higher lignin removal of 65.0%, with 80.8% hydrolysis yield, and on enzyme hydrolysis (40 FPU/g of dry WH), produced total reducing sugar of about 523 mg/g of WH. The resulted WH enzymatic hydolysates were evaluated for the production of PHB by Ralstonia eutropha (ATCC 17699). The WH hydrolysates cultivation was compared to synthetic hydrolysates that contain a similar carbon composition in terms of bacterial growth and PHB synthesis. The effects of various supplements to enhance PHB production were estimated. Supplementation of corn steep liquor (CSL) as a cheap nitrogen source with WH hydrolysates favored a higher amount of PHB synthesis (73%), PHB titer of 7.30 g/L and PHB yield of 0.429 g/g of reducing sugar. Finally, using standard analytical tools, the physical and thermal characteristics of the extracted PHB were evaluated. The findings revealed WH was a promising and technically feasible option for transforming biomass into sustainable biopolymer conversion on a large scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Characterization of Bio-Based Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Investigation and Performance Evaluation of Modified Viscoelastic Surfactant (VES) as a New Thickening Fracturing Fluid
Polymers 2020, 12(7), 1470; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12071470 - 30 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
In hydraulic fracturing, fracturing fluids are used to create fractures in a hydrocarbon reservoir throughout transported proppant into the fractures. The application of many fields proves that conventional fracturing fluid has the disadvantages of residue(s), which causes serious clogging of the reservoir’s formations [...] Read more.
In hydraulic fracturing, fracturing fluids are used to create fractures in a hydrocarbon reservoir throughout transported proppant into the fractures. The application of many fields proves that conventional fracturing fluid has the disadvantages of residue(s), which causes serious clogging of the reservoir’s formations and, thus, leads to reduce the permeability in these hydrocarbon reservoirs. The development of clean (and cost-effective) fracturing fluid is a main driver of the hydraulic fracturing process. Presently, viscoelastic surfactant (VES)-fluid is one of the most widely used fracturing fluids in the hydraulic fracturing development of unconventional reservoirs, due to its non-residue(s) characteristics. However, conventional single-chain VES-fluid has a low temperature and shear resistance. In this study, two modified VES-fluid are developed as new thickening fracturing fluids, which consist of more single-chain coupled by hydrotropes (i.e., ionic organic salts) through non-covalent interaction. This new development is achieved by the formulation of mixing long chain cationic surfactant cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) with organic acids, which are citric acid (CA) and maleic acid (MA) at a molar ratio of (3:1) and (2:1), respectively. As an innovative approach CTAB and CA are combined to obtain a solution (i.e., CTAB-based VES-fluid) with optimal properties for fracturing and this behaviour of the CTAB-based VES-fluid is experimentally corroborated. A rheometer was used to evaluate the visco-elasticity and shear rate & temperature resistance, while sand-carrying suspension capability was investigated by measuring the settling velocity of the transported proppant in the fluid. Moreover, the gel breaking capability was investigated by determining the viscosity of broken VES-fluid after mixing with ethanol, and the degree of core damage (i.e., permeability performance) caused by VES-fluid was evaluated while using core-flooding test. The experimental results show that, at pH-value ( 6.17 ), 30 (mM) VES-fluid (i.e., CTAB-CA) possesses the highest visco-elasticity as the apparent viscosity at zero shear-rate reached nearly to 10 6 (mPa·s). Moreover, the apparent viscosity of the 30 (mM) CTAB-CA VES-fluid remains 60 (mPa·s) at (90 C) and 170 (s 1 ) after shearing for 2-h, indicating that CTAB-CA fluid has excellent temperature and shear resistance. Furthermore, excellent sand suspension and gel breaking ability of 30 (mM) CTAB-CA VES-fluid at 90 ( C) was shown; as the sand suspension velocity is 1.67 (mm/s) and complete gel breaking was achieved within 2 h after mixing with the ethanol at the ratio of 10:1. The core flooding experiments indicate that the core damage rate caused by the CTAB-CA VES-fluid is ( 7.99 % ), which indicate that it does not cause much damage. Based on the experimental results, it is expected that CTAB-CA VES-fluid under high-temperature will make the proposed new VES-fluid an attractive thickening fracturing fluid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Characterization of Bio-Based Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Aromatic Aliphatic Polyesters and Polyurethanes Prepared from Vanillin-Derived Diols via Green Catalysis
Polymers 2020, 12(3), 586; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12030586 - 05 Mar 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
The design and preparation of polymers by using biobased chemicals is regarded as an important strategy towards a sustainable polymer chemistry. Herein, two aromatic diols, 4-(hydroxymethyl)-2-methoxyphenol and 2-(4-(hydroxymethyl)-2-methoxyphenoxy)ethanol, have been prepared in good yields through the direct reduction of vanillin and hydroxyethylated vanillin [...] Read more.
The design and preparation of polymers by using biobased chemicals is regarded as an important strategy towards a sustainable polymer chemistry. Herein, two aromatic diols, 4-(hydroxymethyl)-2-methoxyphenol and 2-(4-(hydroxymethyl)-2-methoxyphenoxy)ethanol, have been prepared in good yields through the direct reduction of vanillin and hydroxyethylated vanillin (4-(2-hydroxyethoxy)-3-methoxybenzaldehyde) using NaBH4, respectively. The diols were submitted to traditional polycondensation and polyaddition with acyl chlorides and diisocyanatos, and serials of new polyesters and polyurethanes were prepared in high yields with moderate molecular weight ranging from 17,000 to 40,000 g mol−1. Their structures were characterized by 1H NMR, 13C NMR and FTIR, and their thermal properties were studied by TGA and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), indicating that the as-prepared polyesters and polyurethanes have Tg in the range of 16.2 to 81.2 °C and 11.6 to 80.4 °C, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Characterization of Bio-Based Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
A One-Pot Synthesis and Characterization of Antibacterial Silver Nanoparticle–Cellulose Film
Polymers 2020, 12(2), 440; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12020440 - 13 Feb 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Using N,N-dimethylacetamide (DMAc) as a reducing agent in the presence of PVP-K30, the stable silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) solution was prepared by a convenient method for the in situ reduction of silver nitrate. The cellulose–Ag-NPs composite film (CANF) was cast in the same container [...] Read more.
Using N,N-dimethylacetamide (DMAc) as a reducing agent in the presence of PVP-K30, the stable silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) solution was prepared by a convenient method for the in situ reduction of silver nitrate. The cellulose–Ag-NPs composite film (CANF) was cast in the same container using lithium chloride (LiCl) giving the Ag-NPs-PVP/DMAc solution cellulose solubility as well as γ-mercaptopropyltrimethoxysilane (MPTS) to couple Ag-NPs and cellulose. The results showed that the Ag-NPs were uniformly dispersed in solution, and the solution had strong antibacterial activities. It was found that the one-pot synthesis allowed the growth of and cross-linking with cellulose processes of Ag-NPs conducted simultaneously. Approximately 61% of Ag-NPs was successfully loaded in CANF, and Ag-NPs were uniformly dispersed in the surface and internal of the composite film. The composite film exhibited good tensile properties (tensile strength could reach up to 86.4 MPa), transparency (light transmittance exceeds 70%), thermal stability, and remarkable antibacterial activities. The sterilization effect of CANF0.04 against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli exceed 99.9%. Due to low residual LiCl/DMAc and low diffusion of Ag-NPs, the composite film may have potential for applications in food packaging and bacterial barrier. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Characterization of Bio-Based Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Modification of Poly(Ethylene 2,5-Furandicarboxylate) with Poly(Ethylene glycol) for Biodegradable Copolyesters with Good Mechanical Properties and Spinnability
Polymers 2019, 11(12), 2105; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11122105 - 14 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Using 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid, ethylene glycol, and poly(ethylene glycol) as raw materials and ethylene glycol antimony as a catalyst, poly(ethylene furandicarboxylate) (PEF) and polyethylene glycol (PEG) copolymers (PEGFs) were synthesized by transesterification by changing the molecular weight of PEG (from 600 to 10,000 g/mol) [...] Read more.
Using 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid, ethylene glycol, and poly(ethylene glycol) as raw materials and ethylene glycol antimony as a catalyst, poly(ethylene furandicarboxylate) (PEF) and polyethylene glycol (PEG) copolymers (PEGFs) were synthesized by transesterification by changing the molecular weight of PEG (from 600 to 10,000 g/mol) and the PEG content (from 10 to 60 wt %). The thermal, hydrophilic, degradation, and spinnility characteristics of these copolymers were then investigated. Thermogravimetric analysis shows that PEGF is thermally stable at 62 °C, much lower than the temperature for PEF. The intrinsic viscosity of the obtained copolyester was between 0.67 and 0.99 dL/g, which is higher than the viscosity value of PEF. The contact angle experiment shows that the hydrophilicity of PEGFs is improved (the surface contact angle is reduced from 91.9 to 63.3°), which gives PEGFs a certain degradability, and the maximum mass loss can reach approximately 15%. Melt spinning experiments show that the PEGF polymer has poor spinnability, but the mechanical properties of the polymer monofilament are better. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Characterization of Bio-Based Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Starches Isolated from Colombian Native Potatoes and Their Application as Novel Edible Coatings for Wild Andean Blueberries (Vaccinium meridionale Swartz)
Polymers 2019, 11(12), 1937; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11121937 - 25 Nov 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Andean blueberry is a promissory fruit native to South America. The current work aimed to characterize starches isolated from Colombian native potatoes and to evaluate the effect of the application of starch edible coatings on the changes in the physicochemical quality parameters of [...] Read more.
Andean blueberry is a promissory fruit native to South America. The current work aimed to characterize starches isolated from Colombian native potatoes and to evaluate the effect of the application of starch edible coatings on the changes in the physicochemical quality parameters of the Andean blueberry during storage. Starches were isolated from three different potatoes varieties (pacha negra, mora, and alcarrosa) and characterized. Then, starch-based coatings were applied to Andean blueberries, and the changes in their quality parameters were monitored during 12 days of storage. Despite the phenotypical differences in the starch sources used, starches were similar in terms of their granule morphology, amylose content (~19%), crystallinity degree (~46%), and thermal properties. Coatings were able to reduce the gaseous exchange of the fruit, and, thus, the respiration rate of all coated blueberries was ~27% lower compared to the uncoated fruits (p < 0.05) at the end of the storage. While the application of starch coatings did not prevent water loss, all samples reached water loss of up 20%. Besides, the coated fruits showed soluble solids contents ~14% higher compared to the control one, as well as better bright and firmness. The new edible coatings can help add value to the Andean blueberry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Characterization of Bio-Based Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Different Denaturants on Properties and Performance of Soy Protein-Based Adhesive
Polymers 2019, 11(8), 1262; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11081262 - 30 Jul 2019
Cited by 9
Abstract
Chemical modification of soy protein, via crosslinking, is the preferred method for creating non-toxic, renewable, environmentally friendly wood adhesives. The denaturing process of protein is important for the adhesive performance improvement. In order to investigate the effect of different denaturing agents on the [...] Read more.
Chemical modification of soy protein, via crosslinking, is the preferred method for creating non-toxic, renewable, environmentally friendly wood adhesives. The denaturing process of protein is important for the adhesive performance improvement. In order to investigate the effect of different denaturing agents on the performance of soy protein-based adhesives before and after crosslinking modification. In this study, three different denaturing agents—urea (U), sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), and sodium hydrogen sulfite (SHS) and an epoxide crosslinking agent—Triglycidylamine (CA) were used to prepare soy protein-based adhesives. The results showed: (1) The denaturing agent unfolded protein molecules and exposed more hydrophobic groups to prevent water intrusion, which was mainly a contribution for the water resistance and performance improvement of soy protein-based adhesives. The wet shear strength was improved up to 91.3% (denaturing by urea). (2) After modifying by the crosslinking agent, the properties and performance improvement was due to the fact that the active groups on soybean protein molecules reacted with the crosslinking agent to form a crosslinking structure, and there is no obvious correlation with the hydrophobic groups of the protein. (3) The unfolded soybean protein molecules also expose hydrophilic groups, which facilitates the reaction between the crosslinking agent and protein to form a denser crosslinking structure to improve the performance of the adhesive. Particularly, after denaturing with SHS, the wet shear strength of the plywood bonded by the SPI-SHS-CA adhesive increased by 217.24%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Characterization of Bio-Based Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Opuntia Ficus-Indica L. Miller (Palma Forrageira) as an Alternative Source of Cellulose for Production of Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms and Biomaterials: Extraction and Characterization
Polymers 2019, 11(7), 1124; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11071124 - 02 Jul 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Cellulose is among the top 5 excipients used in the pharmaceutical industry. It has been considered one of the main diluents used in conventional and modern dosage forms. Therefore, different raw materials of plant origin have been evaluated as potential alternative sources of [...] Read more.
Cellulose is among the top 5 excipients used in the pharmaceutical industry. It has been considered one of the main diluents used in conventional and modern dosage forms. Therefore, different raw materials of plant origin have been evaluated as potential alternative sources of cellulose. In this context, Opuntia ficus-indica L. Miller (palma forrageira), a plant of the cactus family that has physiological mechanisms that provide greater productivity with reduced water requirements, is an interesting and unexplored alternative for extracting cellulose. By using this source, we aim to decrease the extraction stages and increase the yields, which might result in a decreased cost for the industry and consequently for the consumer. The aim of this work was to investigate the use of Opuntia ficus-indica L. Miller as a new source for cellulose extraction, therefore providing an efficient, straight forward and low-cost method of cellulose II production. The extraction method is based on the oxidation of the lignins. The obtained cellulose was identified and characterized by spectroscopic methods (FTIR and NMR), X-ray diffraction, thermal analysis (TGA-DTG and DSC) and scanning electron microscopy. The results confirmed the identity of cellulose and its fibrous nature, which are promising characteristics for its use in the industry and a reasonable substrate for chemical modifications for the synthesis of cellulose II derivatives with different physicochemical properties that might be used in the production of drug delivery systems and biomaterials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Characterization of Bio-Based Polymers)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Influence of Starch Composition and Molecular Weight on Physicochemical Properties of Biodegradable Films
Polymers 2019, 11(7), 1084; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11071084 - 26 Jun 2019
Cited by 16
Abstract
Thermoplastic starch (TPS) films are considered one of the most promising alternatives for replacing synthetic polymers in the packaging field due to the starch biodegradability, low cost, and abundant availability. However, starch granule composition, expressed in terms of amylose content and phosphate monoesters, [...] Read more.
Thermoplastic starch (TPS) films are considered one of the most promising alternatives for replacing synthetic polymers in the packaging field due to the starch biodegradability, low cost, and abundant availability. However, starch granule composition, expressed in terms of amylose content and phosphate monoesters, and molecular weight of starch clearly affects some film properties. In this contribution, biodegradable TPS films made from potato, corn, wheat, and rice starch were prepared using the casting technique. The effect of the grain structure of each starch on microstructure, transparency, hydration properties, crystallinity, and mechanical properties of the films, was evaluated. Potato starch films were the most transparent and corn starch films the most opaque. All the films had homogeneous internal structures—highly amorphous and with no pores, both of which point to a good starch gelatinization process. The maximum tensile strength (4.48–8.14 MPa), elongation at break (35.41–100.34%), and Young’s modulus (116.42–294.98 MPa) of the TPS films were clearly influenced by the amylose content, molecular weight, and crystallinity of the film. In this respect, wheat and corn starch films, are the most resistant and least stretchable, while rice starch films are the most extensible but least resistant. These findings show that all the studied starches can be considered suitable for manufacturing resistant and flexible films with similar properties to those of synthetic low-density polyethylene (LDPE), by a simple and environmentally-friendly process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Characterization of Bio-Based Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of a High-Performance Adhesive with a Microphase, Separation Crosslinking Structure Using Wheat Flour and a Hydroxymethyl Melamine Prepolymer
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 893; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11050893 - 15 May 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
The objective of this study is to use wheat flour (WF) and hydroxymethyl melamine prepolymer (HMP) to develop a low cost, highly water-resistant, starch-based bio-adhesive for plywood fabrication. Three-layer plywood was fabricated using the resultant adhesive, and the wet shear strength of the [...] Read more.
The objective of this study is to use wheat flour (WF) and hydroxymethyl melamine prepolymer (HMP) to develop a low cost, highly water-resistant, starch-based bio-adhesive for plywood fabrication. Three-layer plywood was fabricated using the resultant adhesive, and the wet shear strength of the plywood samples was measured under various conditions. After determining that water resistance was significantly improved with the addition of HMP, we evaluated the physical characteristics of the starch-based adhesive and functional groups and analyzed the thermal stability and fracture surface of the cured adhesive samples. Results showed that by adding 20 wt.% HMP into WF adhesive, the sedimentation volume in the resultant adhesive decreased by 11.3%, indicating that the increase of crosslinking in the structure of the adhesives increased the bond strength, and the wet shear strength of the resultant plywood in 63 °C water improved by 375% when compared with the WF adhesive. After increasing the addition of HMP to 40 wt.%, the wet shear strength of the resultant plywood in 100 °C water changed from 0 MPa to 0.71 MPa, which meets the exterior use plywood requirement. This water resistance and bond strength improvement resulted from (1) HMP reacting with functions in WF and forming a crosslinking structure to prevent moisture intrusion; and (2) HMP self-crosslinking and combining with crosslinked WF to form a microphase separation crosslinking structure, which improved both the crosslinking density and the toughness of the adhesive, and subsequently, the adhesive’s bond performance. In addition, the microphase separation crosslinking structure had better thermostability and created a compact ductile fracture surface, which further improved the bond performance of the adhesive. Thus, using a prepolymer to form a microphase separation crosslinking structure within the adhesive improves the rigidity, toughness, and water resistance of the material in a practical and cost-effective manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Characterization of Bio-Based Polymers)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Application of Polysaccharide Biopolymer in Petroleum Recovery
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 1860; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12091860 - 19 Aug 2020
Abstract
Polysaccharide biopolymers are biomacromolecules derived from renewable resources with versatile functions including thickening, crosslinking, adsorption, etc. Possessing high efficiency and low cost, they have brought wide applications in all phases of petroleum recovery, from well drilling to wastewater treatment. The biopolymers are generally [...] Read more.
Polysaccharide biopolymers are biomacromolecules derived from renewable resources with versatile functions including thickening, crosslinking, adsorption, etc. Possessing high efficiency and low cost, they have brought wide applications in all phases of petroleum recovery, from well drilling to wastewater treatment. The biopolymers are generally utilized as additives of fluids or plugging agents, to correct the fluid properties that affect the performance and cost of petroleum recovery. This review focuses on both the characteristics of biopolymers and their utilization in the petroleum recovery process. Research on the synthesis and characterization of polymers, as well as controlling their structures through modification, aims to develop novel recipes of biopolymer treatment with new application realms. The influences of biopolymer in many petroleum recovery cases were also evaluated to permit establishing the correlations between their physicochemical properties and performances. As their performance is heavily affected by the local environment, screening and testing polymers under controlled conditions is the necessary step to guarantee the efficiency and safety of biopolymer treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Characterization of Bio-Based Polymers)
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