M.R. Hossen, M.D. Mason
University of Maine,
Keywords: Crosslinking; Porosity, Concentration, Raman Spectroscopy
Summary:Highly porous aerogels made from cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) are promising candidates for applications in aqueous environments. One of the biggest challenges of high porosity CNF aerogels applications is their propensity to break down rapidly in aqueous environments. Here we explore a method to overcome this deficiency by incorporating methacrylate functionalized carboxymethyl cellulose (MetCMC) into the CNF system followed by UV irradiation leading to crosslinking of the methacrylate groups of MetCMC. The resultant polymer composite matrix successfully maintains a robust 3D structure, without collapsing, even when rewetted and stored in water. Incorporation of silver nanoparticles to the composite does not affect the wet stable property of the materials. Silver nanoparticles incorporated CNF-MetCMC substrate is capable of concentrating organic pollutants such as pesticides onto its surface by hydrophobic interaction. Using this novel substrate, parts per trillion (ppt) detection & quantification of pesticides has been possible.