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Thursday 29 Sep 2016NEST Seminar: Bacterial cellulose as building block for novel engineering materials

Dr. Koon-Yang Lee - Imperial College London

HAR/170 (3D Visualisation Suite)  12:30-13:30

Nanocellulose produced by bacteria, such as from the Acetobacter species, also known as bacterial cellulose serves as an interesting alternative for the design of green materials due to the possibility of exploiting the high stiffness and strength of cellulose crystals.  X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy and numerical simulations have estimated the stiffness of a single cellulose crystal to be approximately 100-160 GPa  (comparable to glass fibres ~70 GPa but with a density of 1.25 g cm-3). Bacterial cellulose is also inherently nano-sized with diameter of approximately 50 nm and several micrometres in length. This presentation will focus on the potential of bacterial cellulose in the production of high performance bacterial cellulose reinforced nanocomposites. A method of directly quantifying the wettability of a polymer and a single bacterial cellulose nanofibre will be presented and discussed. Recent advances in manufacturing technology have also resulted in the large-scale production of nanocellulose from woody fibres (also known as nanofibrillated cellulose). In this presentation, a comparison between bacterial cellulose and woody fibre-derived nanocellulose will also be made in terms of their reinforcing ability for various composite applications. A lifecycle analysis of these emerging nanocellulose-reinforced polymer composites will also be presented. This presentation will end with the discussion of producing highly porous bacterial cellulose nanopapers as reinforcement for polymers.

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