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Title: Electrospinning biopolymers from ionic liquids requires control of different solution properties than volatile organic solvents

Here, we report the correlation between key solution properties and spinability of chitin from the ionic liquid (IL) 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([C 2mim][OAc]), and the similarities and differences to electrospinning solutions of non-ionic polymers in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). We found that when electrospinning is conducted from ILs, conductivity and surface tension are not the key parameters regulating spinability, while solution viscosity and polymer concentration are. Contrarily, for electrospinning of polymers from VOCs, solution conductivity and viscosity have been reported to be among some of the most important factors controlling fiber formation. For chitin electrospun from [C 2mim][OAc], we found both a critical chitin concentration required for continuous fiber formation (> 0.20 wt%) and a required viscosity for the spinning solution (between ca. 450 – 1500 cP). The high viscosities of the biopolymer-IL solutions made it possible to electrospin solutions with low, less than 1 wt% of polymer concentration and produce thin fibers without the need to adjust the electrospinning parameters. These results suggest new prospects for the control of fiber architecture in non-woven mats, which is crucial for materials performance.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. The Univ. of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL (United States)
  2. 525 Solutions, Inc., Tuscaloosa, AL (United States)
  3. CFM Group, LLC, Tuscaloosa, AL (United States)
  4. The Univ. of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL (United States); 525 Solutions, Inc., Tuscaloosa, AL (United States); McGill Univ., Montreal, QC (Canada)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
NE0000672; SC0010152
Published Article
Journal Name:
ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 5; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2168-0485
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
The Univ. of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Contributing Orgs:
525 Solutions, Inc.
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; chitin; biomass; surface tension; conductivity; 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1353372