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Reprocessable and natural polymeric networks based on dynamic covalent bonds between cellulose nanofibers

Grant number: 22/05465-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2022
Effective date (End): September 30, 2026
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Camila Alves de Rezende
Grantee:Thais Cardoso de Oliveira
Host Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:21/12071-6 - Tailoring colloids through supramolecular interactions: from fundamentals to applications, AP.TEM


This project proposes manufacturing structured materials (e.g., hydrogels, organogels, and aerogels) based on exchangeable dynamic covalent bonds between Cellulose Nanofibers (CNF), enabling the material's mechanical reinforcement, also allowing its recyclability and re-processability. These "cellulose vitrimers" combine properties from the two main polymeric classes: thermoplastic's re-processability and thermoset's high mechanical resistance. Furthermore, CNF's use as a base for developing this material may implement natural fiber's intrinsic properties in vitrimer's chemistry, such as non-toxicity and renewability. The experimental strategy to enable exchangeable covalent links into CNF is to prepare the nanofiber with carboxylic groups on its surface, followed by its functionalization with vicinal tricarbonyl compounds, which can create dynamic covalent bonds between the fibers when in diols, polyols, and aromatic amines' presence. Moreover, this innovative project can effectively grant the development of a new class of materials with enhanced mechanical properties, recyclability, and shape memory that can be extended through the complex structured materials and gels' field, being also valuable for biomaterials, adhesives, and coatings development. (AU)

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