Donald White - Tuskegee University
Co-Author(s): Ben Frank, Howard Fairbrother Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, Md. Emily Caudill, Joel Pedersen University of Wisconsin, Madison Wisconsin. Joseph Buchman, Christy Haynes Minneapolis, Mn. Michael Curry, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL.
Cellulose is one of the most abundant biopolymers on earth and natures’ ability to produce this natural reinforcement agent and its biocompatibility has brought much attention from researchers. However, due to the harsh methods (i.e. strong acid hydrolysis) used to extract cellulose from the biomass source, the surface of the cellulose structure is often modified which adversely influence its chemical and physical properties and its ability to be used as a filler to enhance other materials. Thus, in this study we report the use of bacteria as an alternative method to produce cellulose with optimum physical and chemical properties as fillers for the fabrication of biodegradable plastics with enhanced mechanical and thermal properties. Current biodegradable plastics lack the strength that Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS), polymers (petroleum derived) possess. Bacterial Nano Cellulose (BNC) was dispersed via VS-I method into the polymer matrix to solve the mechanical and thermal instability of the non-petroleum polymers Poly Lactic Acid (PLA), Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), and Polycaprolactone (PCL) to achieve a completely biodegradable plastic with synthetic strength and thermo stability.Not Submitted
Funder Acknowledgement(s): National Science Foundation under Grant No. CHE- 150348, NSF IGERT Grant No. DGE-1144843.
Faculty Advisor: Michael Curry, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: Synthesis, characterization, and dispersion of nano cellulose into composites.