Fabrication of 3D Printed Lignin/Polymer Nanocomposites with Enhanced Mechanical Properties

The generation of a huge amount of plastic waste creates serious social and environmental concerns. As such, there has been a movement to develop fully biodegradable compostable biocomposites in recent years. To join this initiative, Nanomaterials and Polymer Nanocomposites Laboratory (NPNL) at UBCO, in collaboration with Advanced BioCarbon 3D (ABC3D) seeks to develop fully biodegradable polymer biocomposites filaments with appropriate physical properties for 3D printing. We intend to use biodegradable polymers, such as poly(lactide acid) (PLA) as the matrix, and biobased fillers, such as lignin as the reinforcing agent, with a focus on enhanced mechanical properties. Lignin is one of the three major components found in the cell walls of natural lignocellulosic materials. ABC3D has achieved remarkable progress in the extraction of lignin from the wood chips produced by forest industries. So far, they have achieved 16 types of lignins featuring different physical and chemical properties. In this proposal, NPNL aims to help ABC3D develop the technology of fabrication of fully biodegradable lignin-based polymer composite filaments by tackling various challenges ranging from production (e.g., formulation, dispersion, etc.) to application properties (e.g., mechanical properties) utilizing a broad spectrum of characterization methods.

Intern: 
Milad Kamkar;Hadi Hosseini
Faculty Supervisor: 
Mohammad Arjmand
Province: 
British Columbia
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