Cellulose/polysulfone nanocomposites Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/g158bn829

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  • Microchannel devices are rapidly evolving process technology with a wide variety of applications. Microchannel devices hold the potential to transform many separation processes. One potential application for such microchannel devices is kidney dialysis. By reducing the size and cost of the device, this technology offers the potential to allow dialysis patients to perform the operation at home, resulting in significantly improved patient treatment and lifestyle. The geometry and mechanical properties of the current dialysis membranes are not optimized for microchannel devices, which require stiff, flat membranes. This preliminary study investigated the feasibility of incorporating cellulose nanocrystals (CNXLs) into polysulfone, a commonly used polymer for dialysis membranes. Incorporating CNXLs into non-water soluble polymers without aggregation has been problematic. A novel solvent exchange process was developed that successfully transferred an aqueous CNXL dispersion into the organic solvent N-methyl pyrrolidone (NMP), which is a solvent for polysulfone (PSf). Films were prepared from the solution of PSf in NMP with dispersed CNXLs by a phase inversion process. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and optical microscopy were used to examine the morphology of the films. Tensile tests showed a large increase in the modulus of elasticity (MOE) of these films beyond 1% filler loading. This could be due to a percolation effect. The interaction between the polymer matrix and the CNXL filler was studied by means of thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), which suggested a close interaction between the polymer and filler at the 2 % filler loading. Water vapor transport rate (WVTR) was used to measure the transport property of these films. WVTR showed an increase with increase in filler loading. Agglomeration of the CNXLs seemed to be taking place at filler loadings > 7 %.
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