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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Cotton Production and Processing Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #367751

Research Project: Enhancing the Profitability and Sustainability of Upland Cotton, Cottonseed, and Agricultural Byproducts through Improvements in Pre- and Post-Harvest Processing

Location: Cotton Production and Processing Research

Title: Sonication amplitude and processing time influence the cellulose nanocrystals morphology and dispersion

item SHOJAEIARANI, JAMILEH - Western New England University
item BAJWA, DILPREET - Montana State University
item Holt, Gregory

Submitted to: Nanocomposites
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/6/2020
Publication Date: 1/13/2020
Citation: Shojaeiarani, J., Bajwa, D., Holt, G.A. 2020. Sonication amplitude and processing time influence the cellulose nanocrystals morphology and dispersion. Nanocomposites. 6(1):41-46.

Interpretive Summary: Composites are materials made of two or more different materials that, when combined, are stronger than the individual materials by themselves. The composite material is generally preferred, over the traditional material, because it is stronger, lighter, or less expensive. Some common composite materials are: reinforced concrete, reinforced plastics, and plywood. These materials are used for bridges, buildings and other structures such as shower stalls and racing car bodies. Cellulose materials are often used in building composites and a critical issue is the distribution or dispersion of the cellulose fibers. This research looked at the effects of using sound energy to disperse very small cellulose fibers to improve their performance thereby enhancing the composite. In the study, sound energy level and the amount of time the energy was applied where varied to see if they improved dispersion of the cellulose fibers. The study confirmed that time and energy level had considerable impact on dispersing the cellulose fibers with energy level having a greater impact than time. The results of the study can be helpful in optimizing sound energy treatments to promote uniform cellulose fiber dispersion.

Technical Abstract: The application of bio-based materials is becoming impellent owing to the increasing demand for alternatives to petroleum-based analogs. In this regard, cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs), derived from cellulose, with unique properties have received a significant interest, while their hydrophilic character poses a challenge to their commercial applications. Ultrasonication treatment is one of the most commonly used methods to improve CNCs’ dispersion in different solvents and polymer matrices. In this work, the effectiveness of ultrasonication treatment in the dispersion of CNCs in a water-soluble polymer (polyvinyl alcohol, PVA) was studied. An aqueous suspension of polyvinyl alcohol and CNCs with the same concentration of CNCs and PVA (1 wt. %) were prepared using different ultrasonication times and amplitudes. The morphology, particle size and dispersion of CNCs were studied using X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and dynamic light scattering (DLS) methods. The results indicated that with increase in the sonication amplitude, there was a substantial decrease in nanoparticle length, while long sonication time gently affected the nanoparticle length. Furthermore, improved dispersion was observed in samples prepared using longer sonication time.