PhD Proposal by Jeffrey Luo
THE SCHOOL OF MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Under the provisions of the regulations for the degree
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
on Friday August 5, 2016
in MRDC 4404
will be held the
DISSERTATION PROPOSAL DEFENSE
"Processing, Structure, and Properties of Polyacrylonitrile Films and Fibers with High Nanocellulose Loading"
Prof. Satish Kumar, Advisor, MSE
Prof. Robert Moon, Advisor, MSE
Prof. Yulin Deng, ChBE
Prof. Kyriaki Kalaitzidou, ME
Prof. Meisha Shofner, MSE
Cellulose is the most abundant biopolymer on earth with an estimated production of 1010-1012 tonnes per year. With the high production it could be a viable resource to be used to increase sustainability, and reduce our dependence on synthetic polymers made from oil. Recently nanocellulose in the form of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) as potential fillers have been gaining significant interest. This is due to nanocellulose’s high mechanical properties, high surface area, biodegradability, biorenewability, and low toxicity.
Polyacrylonitrile is the predominant precursor polymer for carbon materials such as carbon fiber. The incorporation of cellulose into polyacrylonitrile might be a potential way to make a more renewable carbon fiber. Additionally it has been seen that there might be some interaction between the cellulose and PAN during heating that could prove to be beneficial to the stabilization and carbonization process.
In this study nanocellulose will be incorporated into polyacrylonitrile and the composites will be characterized. The effect the nanocellulose will have on the rheological properties on the solution/suspension will be studied. Additionally the effect nanocellulose has on the structure development, along with the changes in the mechanical, thermal, and optical properties on the films and fibers will also be determined. Since this composite can potentially be converted to a carbon material the changes in the stabilization and carbonization will also be studied.