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Trident Scholar Program
Trident Scholar Program

MIDN 1/C Christian E. Hoffman - 29th Company

Advancing the Synthesis of Polyionic Biocomposite Materials by the Natural Fiber Welding Process

Advisers: CDR David P. Durkin, USN, Professor Paul C. Trulove, Assistant Professor Elizabeth A. Yates, Chemistry Department
External CollaboratorDr. Jeremiah Woodcock, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Major:  Chemistry

Biomaterials such as cotton and silk are abundant natural resources with material properties equal or superior to many synthetic polymers. Using ionic liquids (ILs) and the Natural Fiber Welding (NFW) process, biomaterials can be chemically and physically enhanced. Here we present progress on using polymerizable ionic liquids (Poly-ILs) in the NFW process. Poly-ILs with different cation and anion structures were synthesized and subsequently characterized using 1H and 13C NMR, then evaluated for their ability to (i) polymerize and (ii) solubilize a biopolymer (cellulose) matrix. The best performing Poly-ILs were used in the NFW process to prepare polyionic biocomposite materials.

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