Materials Engineering Department
BS in Materials Engineering
Microcrystalline cellulose was converted into nanocrystalline cellulose via an acid hydrolysis procedure. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was employed to measure the particle size and thus the effectiveness of acid hydrolysis. The nanocrystalline cellulose was poured through a 0.2μm filter to isolate the particles of ideal size. The nanocrystalline cellulose samples were stored in dimethylformamide (DMF) to prevent mold growth and agglomeration upon drying. Numerous composite samples were created by dissolving the arabinan in a solvent, suspending cellulose in the arabinan solution, and then drying the sample. Casting was performed in a silicon mold to allow sample removal without damage. Initial casting was performed without cellulose to determine the most appropriate solvent. DMF dissolved arabinan most effectively and created the most uniform sample, so it was used almost exclusively for fabrication of the remaining samples. The subsequent arabinan and cellulose (ArC) composites were fabricated with various processing parameters such as weight percent, stir time, dry time, and dry temperature. Based on qualitative examination, the most effective casting process consisted of a 24-hour stir followed by a 55 °C vacuum drying condition. A glass transition temperature of 96 °C for arabinan was determined using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC).