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Chemistry Department Seminar Series: Dr. Paschalis Alexandridis Campus Calendar

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Thursday, September 20, 2018
11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Location: 148 Baker Laboratory

Event Description: Dr. Paschalis Alexandridis, UB Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. University at Buffalo will present his seminar "Dissolving the Insoluble: Selection of Solvent and Processing Conditions for Cellulose Pretreatment and Dissolution" ABSTRACT: The recalcitrance to dissolution hinders the processing of crystalline polymers. A phenomenological model is presented that captures the phenomena governing the dissolution of semicrystalline polymers, e.g., solvent diffusion, transformation from crystalline to amorphous domains, specimen swelling, and polymer chain untangling. The model is validated for the case of cellulose (cotton) fiber swelling and dissolution in various solvents. A parametric sensitivity analysis is carried out to assess the impact of various parameters on the dissolution of cellulose fibers. To emulate large-scale processing of cellulosic biomass where the particles exhibit a distribution of size and degree of crystallinity, a model is developed in which the behavior of a population of particles is obtained from an ensemble of individual polymer particle dissolution models. Using this population ensemble model, various particle size distributions are analyzed for different dissolution parameters. The insights obtained from these studies would be useful for the rational design and optimization of solvent systems and processes for the dissolution of semicrystalline polymers such as cellulose, polyglycolic acid, and polyesters.

M'Lis Traver

Sponsor: The Chemistry Department

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