Effect of ionic liquids on supercritical fluid foaming behaviour of semi-crystalline natural-based polymers

last updated: 2021-07-01
ProjectSPECIAL :: publications list
TitleEffect of ionic liquids on supercritical fluid foaming behaviour of semi-crystalline natural-based polymers
Publication TypePapers in Scientific Journals
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsDuarte A. R. C., Silva S. S., Mano J. F., and Reis R. L.

In this work, the ability to foam semi-crystalline natural-based polymers by supercritical fluid technology is evaluated. The application of this technique to natural polymers has been limited due to the fact that they are normally semi-crystalline polymers, which do not plasticize in the presence of carbon dioxide. This can be overcome by the use of plasticizers, such as glycerol, which is a commonly used plasticizer, or ionic liquids, which have recently been proposed as plasticizing agents for different polymers. Following the green chemistry principles, the main aim is, hereafter, the design and development of new 3D architectures of natural-based polymers, combining ionic liquids (IL) and supercritical fluid (SCF) technology. A polymeric blend of starch, one of the most abundantly occurring natural polymers, and poly-ε-caprolactone, a synthetic polymer, which is a biodegradable aliphatic polyester commonly used in an array of biomedical applications (SPCL), was processed by supercritical fluid foaming, at different operating conditions, namely pressure (10.0 up to 20.0 MPa), temperature (35 up to 60 °C) and soaking time (30 min up to 3 h). The ionic liquid tested in this work was 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([bmim]Ac). The interactions between SPCL and [bmim]Ac or glycerol were analysed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry and by mechanical tests, using both tensile and compressive modes. Morphological analysis, porosity, interconnectivity and pore size distribution of the matrixes were evaluated and the morphology was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and by micro-computed tomography. To our knowledge the use of ionic liquids as foaming agents is reported here for the first time. The results obtained suggest that this approach can further promote the development of composite polymer–IL materials, particularly for catalysis, chromatography, extraction and separation purposes

JournalGreen Chemistry
Date Published2012-06-26
PublisherRoyal Society of Chemistry
Keywordsionic liquids, natural polymers, Starch, supercritical fluid foaming
Peer reviewedyes

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