Cellulose esters, biodegradable polymers with a high number of applications, can be produced in homogeneous phase using ionic liquids (ILs). This group of salts are capable of dissolving high concentrations of cellulose in one step process and without catalysts. Nevertheless this process presents limitations such as product and reagents degradation due to long reaction times, high viscosity of the reaction mixture and the product recovery consumes a large quantity of water. This project is intended to study the use of supercritical CO2 together with ionic liquids to accelerate the reaction. The ionic liquids would be use as green solvents of cellulose and the supercritical CO2 would reduce the viscosity of the mixture IL-CO2 enhancing the reaction velocity as would improve the reactants transport.
Joana Lopes – Project DoHip (FP7-PEOPLE 2012 ITN 316959)