Green nanocomposites

Research areas

Temporary Supervisor

Associate Professor Takuya Tsuzuki


Due to the growing environmental concerns and resource depletion, the needs for sustainable materials are increasing rapidly. Bioplastics are the polymers produced from renewable raw materials such as plants. Hence biopolymers pose much lower environmental risks than fossil-fuel derived polymers. However, currently the mechanical strength of biopolymers is not sufficiently high to replace fossil-fuel derived polymers. It has been demonstrated that the incorporation of nanofibres in biopolymers will increase their structural properties [1,2]. Compared to traditional micron-scale fibre reinforcement, nano-scale reinforcement provides more uniform force distribution and improved failure mechanism. Recently, we demonstrated a production method to produce nanofibres from plant fibres [3]. The combination of such nanofibres and biopolymers in nanocomposite will enable new types of nanocomposite that pose significantly low environmental burden. Due to their biocompatibility, biodegradability and potential recyclability, natural-nanofibre-reinforced biopolymers have a wide range of applications as biomedical, structural and environmental materials. This project aims to develop novel types of nanocomposites made with renewable raw materials for structural, food and biomedical applications. [1] A. K. Mohanty, M. Misra, G. Hinrichsen, Macromol. Mater. Eng. (2000) 276/277, 1–24 [2] G. Siqueira, J. Bras, A. Dufresne, Polymer, (2010), 2, 728-765 [3] T. Tsuzuki, R. Rana, Q. Liu, L Zhang, X. Wang, (2011) “Production of Green Nanomaterials”, Proceedings of the International Conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology 2010, Sydney, Feb. 2010,pp. 150-153 (NN100506, paper#484), ISBN 978-1-4244-5262-0.





Background Literature

- Materials from Renewable Resources, MRS Bulletin 2010, Vol. 35, No. 3 - Materials for Sustainable Development, MRS Bulletin 2012, Vol. 37, No. 4

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