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BIMR Seminar Series January 27 2017

Event Date: 
Friday, January 27, 2017 - 3:30pm

Junyong (J.Y.) Zhu USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, WI, USA Title: Towards Economical and Sustainable Production of Cellulose Nanomaterials Cellulose is a renewable natural polymer and can be sustainably produced from lignocellulosic plant biomass. Cellulose nanomaterials such as cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) and fibrils (CNF) have attracted great interest due to their unique mechanical and optical properties with a potential to produce a variety of renewable and biodegradable products for a sustainable future. Economic and environmentally sustainable production of nanocellulose, however, is the key to achieve these potentials.I will outline the current status of cellulose nanomaterial production including the deficiencies of existing technologies. Then, I will to discuss our research on integrated production of CNC and CNF with full recovery of chemicals. Using dicarboxylic acids (DCAs) for sustainable and potentially economical production of highly thermal stable and functional nanomaterials is particularly promising.  DCA hydrolysis overcomes disadvantages of existing technologies (mineral acid or enzymatic hydrolysis, oxidation), such as (1) low thermal stability which prevented their applications in the largest market – wood based composites processed at elevated temperatures; (2) difficulties in economic recovery of chemicals. DCAs can be easily and economically recovered. DCA hydrolysis resulted in low CNC yield, but minimal cellulose loss or high solid yield. The remaining partially hydrolyzed fibers can be subsequently fibrillated into CNF to realize integrated production with tunable yield, properties, and morphologies. The low strength of DCA also resulted in CNC with higher crystallinity and longer lengths of 300 – 600 nm than those produced using mineral acids, suitable for polymer reinforcement. Progress in a low temperature and low energy process for producing Lignin CNF (LCNF) directly from wood, rather than from chemical pulps, to substantially reduce production cost will be presented.Dr. Zhu is a scientific team leader in woody biomass utilization for sugar/biofuel, chemicals, and cellulose nanomaterials production at the US Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, WI. His research covers a broad area of wood and fiber utilization with a focus on cellulose nanomaterials and biofuels. He publishes extensively, holds over a dozen patents and is the co-inventor of the SPORL process used to produce the world’s first successful cellulosic biojet commercial flight. Dr. Zhu is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was the Inaugural Fulbright-Aalto University Distinguished Chair in Energy and Sustainable Use Natural Resources (2015-2016 academic year).Resources (2015-2016 academic year).


Event Location: 
Location Details: 
ABB 164