New Method of Converting Bagasse and Other Lignocellulose Residues into Functional Regenerated Cellulose Fiber
Physical Sciences : Materials and Compounds
Available for licensing
- Jonathan Chen, Ph.D. , School of Human Ecology; (also) Dept. of Textiles & Apparel
- Liangfeng (Tom) Sun , School of Human Ecology
Currently the world market of regenerated cellulose fibers is dominated by rayon fiber (accounting for approximately 95%) and Tencel® or lyocell fiber (only about 5% market share). The production of rayon fiber uses a chemical approach that generates a cellulose derivative called sodium cellulose xanthate. Because this chemical method requires a heavy use of sodium hydroxide and sulfuric acid, environmental pollution by manufactured effluents becomes a serious concern.
Tencel®/lyocell fiber is a new generation of regenerated cellulose fiber that is produced using the non-derivatizing solvent N-methylmorpholine-N-oxide (NMMO). Because no chemical reactions occur and the NMMO solvent can be recycled during the production, Tencel®/lyocell fiber is known as a "green fiber." However, the limited production capacity and higher price of Tencel®/lyocell fiber is still a barrier for many end users.
With today’s stimulation of bio-based economy and the focus on renewable energy and fuel-efficient vehicles, carbon fiber is highly needed. This results in a substantially increasing demand for the regenerated cellulose fiber that is one of the three major precursor fibers for carbon fiber manufacture. New technologies for producing regenerated cellulose fibers with eco-friendly approaches and non-wood biomass resources have become essential.
This invention is about a new method to make regenerated pure cellulose fiber and nanoparticle-modified cellulose fibers using wood, bagasse, and other renewable celluloses. The technology includes a use of a special solvent for the formation of cellulose solution and a continuous cellulose fiber spinning line under an ambient room condition. The technology also covers the fabrication of bagasse pulp and biopolymer composites from the raw cellulose and different nanoparticles.
- Utilization of agricultural residues to reduce the consumption of forest resources
- Environmentally friendly fiber spinning process (no chemical reactions and no effluents)
- Low energy consumption
- Capability to produce nanoparticle-enhanced cellulose fibers
- It enables to convert bagasse and other lignocellulose agricultural residues into regenerated cellulose fiber with a simple and eco-friendly approach.
- It allows incorporating different nanoparticles into ionic liquid solvent systems, so that functional regenerated bagasse cellulose fiber can be produced.
- It is a low carbon footprint approach for manufacturing new rayon fiber with low energy consumption, zero effluents, and safer operation.
The developed cellulose fibers can be used for diverse textile and apparel applications like rayon and Tencel®/lyocell fibers. Furthermore, the new cellulose fibers can also be used for high-end applications in other industrial sectors including carbon fiber manufacture, personal care, medical care, and military end uses.
- 1 U.S. patent application filed