Development of green and environmentally-friendly polymer matrices for versatile applications: from electrochemistry to conservation of cultural heritage
|Maria Assunta Navarra||Aggiungi Tutor di riferimento (Professore o Ricercatore afferente allo stesso Dipartimento del Proponente)|
This proposal presents the development of lignocellulose-based materials for a variety of applications, such as polymer electrolytes, binders for electrode powders, and organic current collectors in batteries, as well as polymer gels for the corrosion removal from historical artifacts. Lignocellulosic biomass is one of the most abundant and eco-friendly feedstocks on earth. The replacement of petroleum-based synthetic polymers with these bio-derived polymers is a promising approach to reduce environmental impacts during production of polymers.
In the growing lithium ion battery (LIB) industry, the sustainability of battery production has become a new concern in addition to the performance and safety of batteries, since many LIB components are classified as critical raw materials (CRM) that are at risk of depletion. Fluorinated polymers are widely used in LIBs because of their high stability. However, their raw material, fluorospar, is one such CRM. Therefore, alternative materials based on highly abundant and easily accessible elements need to be developed.
We have been working on the extraction of cellulose and lignin from industrial waste of cocoa husk from 2020. Although both materials are known to be barely soluble in any organic solvents due to their intermolecular interactions, the extraction of individual component from cocoa husk was achieved by employing a highly polar deep eutectic solvent (DES). This year I undertake the valorization of extracted biomasses by developing them as alternatives to fluorinated polymers in LIBs. Extracted cellulose will also be used as a matrix of hydrogels for the corrosion removal from historical artefacts. In addition, valorization of lignin will be carried out by using them as organic current collectors in LIBs. By carrying out all the synthesis with water as a solely solvent, I intend to propose a technology for safer and more sustainable production of LIBs.