Unveiling the potential of cellulose, chitosan and polylactic acid as precursors for the production of green carbon nanofibers with controlled morphology and diameter

Yifan Feng, Masoomeh Bazzar, Miguel Hernaez, Daniel Barreda, Andrew G. Mayes, Zoraida González, Sonia Melendi-Espina (Lead Author)

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Carbon nanofibers (CNFs) are very promising materials with application in many fields, such as sensors, filtration systems, and energy storage devices. This study aims to explore the use of eco-friendly biopolymers for CNF production, finding novel, suitable and sustainable precursors and thus prioritising environmentally conscious processes and ecological compatibility.

Polymeric nanofibers (PNFs) using cellulose acetate, polylactic acid, and chitosan as precursors were successfully prepared via electrospinning. Rheological testing was performed to determine suitable solution concentrations for the production of PNFs with controlled diameter and appropriate morphology. Their dimensions and structure were found to be significantly influenced by the solution concentration and electrospinning flow rate. Subsequently, the electrospun green nanofibers were subject to stabilisation and carbonisation to convert them into CNFs. Thermal behaviour and chemical/structural changes of the nanofibers during stabilisation were investigated by means of thermogravimetric analysis and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, while the final morphology of the fibers after stabilisation and carbonisation was examined through scanning electron microscopy to determine the optimal stabilisation parameters. The optimal fabrication parameters for cellulose and chitosan-based CNFs with excellent morphology and thermal stability were successfully established, providing valuable insight and methods for the sustainable and environmentally friendly synthesis of these promising materials.
Original languageEnglish
Article number132152
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Issue numberPart 2
Early online date7 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 May 2024

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