Submitted to: American Chemical Society National Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/26/2018
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) are utilized as a biorenewable resource for reinforcing agents. CNCs are extracted from dozens of plant species including cotton with varying morphologies related to the source material. The extraction of CNCs remains cumbersome and expensive. Utilization of agricultural by-products in CNC extraction is an existing challenge to produce high-value commodities from inexpensive source materials. To increase the cost-competitiveness of cotton as a source material, we herein report on the extraction of nanocellulose to produce a high value commodity from cotton gin motes and cotton gin waste.
Technical Abstract: Cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) have attracted a great deal of attention as an environmentally-friendly biorenewable resource for use as reinforcing agents in nanocomposites, polymers, gels, and emulsions. CNCs have been extracted from over thirty plant species including cotton, tunicate, sugarcane bagasse, soy hulls, or wood pulp. Nanoparticle dimensions from these processed feedstocks range from 5 to 30 nm in width with lengths from less than 100 nm to several microns, depending on the source material and method of isolation. The method of isolation can also insert various functional groups onto the nanocellulose, imparting different thermal stability and physical properties. We have been investigating the extraction of nanocellulose from cotton gin motes and cotton gin waste. CNCs were successfully extracted from these two post-process agroindustrial by-products with and without chemical pretreatment. The extracted nano-architectures were characterized by FTIR, AFM, TGA, DLS, and SEM. CNCs were obtained in good yield and had diameters <20 nm and lengths of several hundred nanometers with relatively high aspect ratios (15 – 20). CNCs with these dimensions could impart increased hydrophilicity to a substrate, resulting in a product with moisture management application. Furthermore, this work demonstrates a cost-effective extraction of nanocellulose and provides a means of producing a high value commodity from inexpensive source materials such as cotton gin motes. Effects of post-extraction chemical treatments are also discussed.