9th., Annual ChEGSA Symposium

on April 13, 2016 at the Virginia Tech Inn.

The Keynote Speaker.

Transforming Nanocellulose into Sustainable Products through Surface Engineering

Emily Cranston, PhD

Associate Professor
Chemical Engineering
McMaster University


By learning from nature and using bio-based nanoparticles we can engineer sustainable high-performance materials with improved functionality. Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) are entering the marketplace as new ingredients for formulated chemical products. As “green” and potentially food-grade additives, there is widespread interest in CNCs particularly as emulsifiers, rheological modifiers, and reinforcing agents. We believe that the surface chemistry of CNCs must be well understood and controlled in order to elucidate the interactions, stability and compatibility of CNCs with liquids, polymers and small molecules.

I will present recent characterization of CNCs with polymers and surfactants and show applications in (1) wet and dry oil/water emulsions and emulsion polymerization; (2) injectable hydrogels with controlled crosslinking and nanoparticle alignment; and (3) aqueous foams, CNC-templated polymer foams and aerogel materials. This new understanding can be used to extend food/cosmetic products, encapsulation technologies, latex paints/adhesives, and tissue engineering scaffolds. Furthermore, the dried CNC aerogel materials offer a flexible 3D porous structure to support other functional nanomaterials (carbon nanotubes, capacitive particles and polymers, metal organic frameworks, etc.) which we have demonstrated as energy storage and water purification devices.

In many of these examples, the combination of CNCs with adsorbing polymers (or surfactants, or other nanomaterials) has shown synergistic effects and materials that are more stable, stronger and/or require only small amounts of CNCs to greatly impact properties. This work promises new, low-cost, non-toxic CNC-based materials and highlights not only the prospect of fabricating tailored products but also the complexities and challenges of including CNCs in multi-component formulations.

Emily Cranston is an Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering at McMaster University in Canada. Her research focuses on sustainable nanocomposites and hybrid materials from cellulose and other biopolymers. Her academic path began at McGill University where she received her Honours B.Sc. in Chemistry with bio-organic specialty and a PhD in Materials Chemistry in the group of Professor Derek Gray. The study of value-added products from cellulose took her to Stockholm, Sweden as a postdoctoral researcher at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) before she returned to Canada in 2011. Emily is the recipient of the KINGFA Young Investigator’s Award from the American Chemical Society’s Cellulose & Renewable Materials division and is a Distinguished Engineering Fellow at McMaster University.


9:00-9:05   Welcome and Introductions

9:05-9:20   Michael Williams - Advisor: Kiran
    Volumetric Properties and Solubility Parameters of Cyclohexane + CO2 Mixtures at High Pressures and their Modeling with the Sanchez-Lacombe Equation of State

9:22-9:37   Eric Gilmer - Advisor: Bortner
    Characterization of Poly(ether imide) for Development of a Physics-Based Process Model to Simulate Thermal Transport During Fused Deposition Modeling

9:39-9:54   Yow-Ren Chang - Advisor: Ducker
    Effect of surface topography on bacterial surface motility

9:56-10:11   Cailean Pritchard - Advisor: Bortner
    Driving forces for cellulose nanocrystal alignment in drying droplets: Center versus edge

10:13-10:28   Ethan Smith - Advisor: Martin
    Cellulose Nanocrystal Nanocomposite Membranes for Improved Reverse Osmosis Performance

10:28-10:37   Break

10:37-10:52   Zheng Li - Advisor: Xin
    Machine-Learning Model development for Catalyst Discovery

10:54-11:09   Jake Fallon - Advisor: Bortner
    Structure-Process- Property Relationships in Extrusion Based Additive Manufacturing of Cellulose Nanocrystal Composites

11:11-11:26   Maryam Moarefian - Advisor: Achenie
    Agent-based modeling of the effect of electric field on chemotherapeutics delivery into a tumor

11:28-11:43   Karteek Bejagam - Advisor: Deshmukh
    Development of New Coarse-Grained Water Models Using Particle Swarm Optimization

11:45-12:00   Chun-Te Kuo - Advisor: Karim
    High catalytic activity for low-temperature CO oxidation on Pt single atom and cluster supported on MgAl2O4

12:00-1:15   Lunch in Preston's

1:30-2:30   Dr. Emily Cranston   Keynote speaker
    Transforming Nanocellulose into Sustainable Products through Surface Engineering
2:32-2:47   Ami Jo - Advisor: Davis
    CRISPR-Cas9 plasmid encapsulation in PLGA nanoparticles by modified nanoprecipitation for immunotherapy of the Tlr4 gene in mice

2:49-3:04   Saeed Mozaffari - Advisor: Karim
    Role of Capping Ligands in Controlling the Nucleation and Growth of Colloidal Palladium Nanoparticles

3:06-3:21   Siwen Wang - Advisor: Xin
    Coordination-based Descriptors for Understanding Intrinsic Size Effect of Metal Nanocatalysts

3:23-3:38   James Dickmann - Advisor: Kiran
    Volumetric and Transport Properties of Base Oils and Polymer + COCO2 Systems Under Pressure

3:38-3:49   Break

3:51-4:04   Mubashir Ansari - Advisor: Baird
    Identifying the Reprocessing Temperature of the Thermotropic Liquid Crystalline Polymer Reinforced Composite Filaments for Application in Fused Filament Fabrication Using Dynamic Mechanical Analysis

4:06-4:21   Juan Pretelt - Advisor: Baird
    Double shifting and time-temperature superposition of HDPE for pipes

4:23-4:38   Han Chen - Advisor: Cox
    Benchmarks for CO Adsorption on MnO(100): A Comparison of DFT to Experimental Data

4:40-4:55   Greg Lambert - Advisor: Don Baird
    Stress Growth and Fiber Orientation Dynamics of Glass-Fiber Reinforced Polypropylene under Non-Lubricated Squeeze Flow

5:00-6:00   Poster sessions and cocktail hour in Smithfield Room
Poster Session Titles
6:00-8:00   Dinner in Solitude Room