Quantifying the impact of ionic liquid cations on the properties of cellulose nanocrystals
Jeffrey W. Gilman, Douglas M. Fox, Jeremiah W. Woodcock
Ionic liquids, and the novel cations and anions which they are comprised of, have been used to modify the properties of many classes of materials. This includes their use as co-solvents and co‑catalysts in simple chemical reactions. However, ionic liquid cations and anions have also been used to improve the properties and processing of nanomaterials as well. This paper will present recent efforts utilizing ionic liquid cations to dramatically improve the properties of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) such as water sensitivity, thermal stability, dispersibility, and polymer-miscibility. This is accomplished via a classic continuous, industrial process using ion-exchange resin. Novel measurement methods, used to characterize the impact of these cations on the CNC properties such as dynamic vapor desorption (DVS), optical imaging and inverse gas chromatography (iGC) will also be presented.