Polymerization Via a Metal Centered Catalyst from Nanocellulose

High-density polyethylene  composites are now able to go beyond previously realized  storage moduli at 6-7% v/v loading using cellulose nanocrystals  (CNC)s as the filler material.  Using a custom catalyst, polymerization  is carried out directly from the surfaces of the CNCs in a heterogeneous  (slurry) fashion. Mechanical testing showed that this technology  affords composites having storage moduli that are three times the moduli observed for unfilled ultra-high-molecular-weight  linear polyethylene.  The modulus of our polyethylene composites reaches 4000±500 MPa.  This new technology  seeks to utilize a bio-renewable  support for nanocomposites, potentially  making clear, recyclable materials with superior mechanical  properties. The polymerization  is easily performed, the composite material is processed at low temperatures (121 °C or 250 °F), and the material exhibits good clarity.  The supported catalyst system, once attached, is resistant to poisoning from air, and exhibits a reasonable activity of  500 kgpE"atm- 1moI-1catalyst at 300 K.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Li Chen
Licensing Associate
Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc.
(540) 443-9217
Earl Foster
Keith Hendren
Paul Deck
Travis Baughman