Ionic liquids as a dissolution system for preparing graphene/cellulose based materials

  • Yongdi Lou

Student thesis: Masters ThesisMaster of Philosophy


Cellulose composite polymers have been considered as advanced environmental- friendly materials that can be biocompatible and biodegradable, and already have produced mature industrial applications such as in the textile industry. However, because of the dense hydrogen bonding present in cellulose, it presents severe problems for dissolution and processing. Room temperature ionic liquids, especially those which contain strong hydrogen bond acceptor anions, have been reported to be effective and promising cellulose solvents. Graphene continues to play an important role in many fields such as carbon nano-materials because of its unique optical, electrical, mechanical, and structural properties. The large delocalized π-electron system and high theoretical specific surface area of graphene make the material suitable for electronic composites or adsorbent/thermal conduction materials. The pure ionic nature of ionic liquids can also help stabilize the dispersion of graphene in materials by insertion into the sheet structure. This ability of ionic liquids to both stabilize graphene dispersions and dissolve cellulose suggests their application as solvents to prepare cellulose/graphene composite, however, many challenges such as the slow dissolution rate of cellulose, inhomogeneous dissolution, and strong shrinkage of aerogel dehydration still restricts the development of this method.

Some ionic liquids have excellent dissolubility for cellulose is the key theoretical basis of this project. In the meantime studied and tested the effect of doping of self-prepared graphene on the performance of synthesized composites. Cooperate with the innovative method of this project to control the morphology of synthetic composites, in an attempt to solve the irregular shrinkage of cellulose hydrogel materials in the process of water loss. This project explores the preparation of outstanding graphene/cellulose composites by dissolution, regeneration, and modification in order to construct monolithic composites with controlled and structure.
Date of AwardJul 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SupervisorJohn Holbrey (Supervisor) & Gosia Swadzba-Kwasny (Supervisor)


  • Ionic liquids
  • cellulose dissolution system
  • graphene
  • cellulose composites
  • shrinkage control

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