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International Journal of Polymer Science
Volume 2016, Article ID 7432528, 9 pages
Research Article

Long-Chain Alkylimidazolium Ionic Liquid Functionalization of Cellulose Nanofibers and Their Embedding in HDPE Matrix

1Materials Engineering and Welding Department, Transilvania University of Brasov, 29 Eroilor Street, 500036 Brasov, Romania
2Product Design Mechatronics and Environment, Transilvania University of Brasov, 29 Eroilor Street, 500036 Brasov, Romania

Received 26 February 2016; Revised 23 May 2016; Accepted 31 May 2016

Academic Editor: Ang Lu

Copyright © 2016 Catalin Croitoru and Silvia Patachia. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper presents a possible alternative to traditional cellulose nanofibers functionalization, by treatment of the material at low temperatures (25–35°C) with electron-beam irradiated 1-hexyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride ionic liquid. The treatment promotes decreasing the crystallinity of the cellulose with up to 45% and possible imidazolium moieties grafting to cellulose, as demonstrated from FTIR, XRD, and elemental analysis. The grafting determines water vapors uptake values with 50–70% lower and water vapors uptake rate with 50% lower than those of reference cellulose nanofibers. The grafting determined also improved adhesion of the cellulose nanofibers to HDPE, thus contributing to the obtaining of polymer matrix composites with improved properties.