Turkish Journal of Chemistry




Due to environmental concerns, increasing attention has been focused on the application and preparation of biobased polymers and their blends. In this study, cellulose, the most spread biopolymer on Earth, was used in the preparation of novel cotton/polypropylene- Au and cotton/polyethylene-Au nanocomposites via a green mechanochemical approach. First, mechanoradicals were generated by ball milling of the cotton and thermoplastics under cryo conditions, and then, these radicals were used in the reduction of Au ions to Au nanoparticles (Au NPs). Nanocomposites were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The application of mechanochemistry in obtaining the cotton/thermoplastic blends allowed homogenous and fine blending of the samples and in addition, excluded the usage of toxic solvents. Since Au NPs exhibit a wide range of applications, e.g., in catalysis, cotton/thermoplastic-Au nanocomposites were used to catalyze the reduction reaction of 4-nitrophenol to 4-aminophenol, followed by UV-Vis spectroscopy. Finally, the hydrophobicity of the nanocomposites was alternated by tuning the blend composition. In the prepared nanocomposites, cotton and thermoplastics acted as very good supporting matrices for the Au NPs and provided satisfactory access to the NPs.


Mechanochemistry, cellulose-thermoplastic composites, gold nanoparticles, cryomilling

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