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Australia has substantial stock of natural polymers, including cellulose from plants, chitin from shell fish and wool from sheep. We utilize these stocks to produce fully degradable polymeric materials with environmental awareness using environmentally friendly solvents, ionic liquids, which can be fully recycled.
Wool-based blend materials. In particular, we have developed a novel green process for development of blended materials based on wool and cellulose, two key natural raw materials from bioresource. We reported wool-based blend materials using ionic liquids (Hameed, N. and Guo, Q., Carbohydrate Polymers 2009, 78, 999) and prepared blend films of natural wool and cellulose from an ionic liquid green solvent (Hameed, N. and Guo, Q., Cellulose 2010, 17, 803).
Cellulose-based biodegradable plastics. The modulation of the properties of cellulose is very difficult, but can be accomplished with microorganism-synthesized biopolymer PHVB as an effective plasticizer. We use ionic liquids as the processing solvents. Biodegradable plastics from cellulose and PHBV can be processed into different solid forms such as films, noodle-like fibres and bulk blocks. Such biorenewable materials have important potential applications.