Date of Award

8-2003

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Materials Science and Engineering

Major Professor

Billie J. Collier

Committee Members

Gajanan Bhat, John R. Collier, Simioan Petrovan

Abstract

The primary goals of the study were to develop manufactured cellulosic fibers and microfibers from wood pulps as well as from lignocellulosic agricultural by-products and to investigate alternative cellulosic sources as raw materials for lyocell solutions. A protocol was developed for the lyocell preparation from different cellulose sources. The cellulose sources included commercial dissolving pulps, commercial bleached hardwood, unbleached hardwood, bleached softwood, unbleached softwood, bleached thermomechanical pulp, unbleached thermomechanical pulp, bleached recycled newsprint, unbleached recycled newsprint, bagasse and kudzu.

The rheological behavior of solutions was characterized. Complex viscosities and effective elongational viscosities were measured and the influences of parameters such as cellulose source, concentration, bleaching, and temperature were studied. One-way ANOVA post hoc tests were carried out to identify which cellulose sources have the potential to produce lyocell solutions having similar complex viscosities to those from commercial dissolving pulps. Lyocell solutions from both bleached and unbleached softwood and hardwood were classified as one homogenous subset that had the lowest complex viscosity. Kudzu solutions had the highest complex viscosity. The results showed the potential to substitute DP 1457 dissolving pulp with unbleached recycled newsprint pulps, to substitute DP 1195 dissolving pulp with bleached and unbleached thermomechanical pulps, to substitute DP 932 dissolving pulp with bleached thermomechanical pulps or bleached recycled newsprint pulps, to substitute DP 670 dissolving pulp with bagasse.

Lyocell fibers were produced from selected solutions and were treated to produce microfibers. Water, sulfuric acid solutions and sodium hydroxide solutions were used. The treatment of lyocell fibers in 17.5% NaOH solutions for five minutes at 20°C successfully broke the fibers into fibrils along fiber axis. The diameters of the fibrils were generally in the range of 2 to 6 μm, and there were also finer fibrils with diameters less than 1 μm.

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