Biological and Agricultural Engineering

BAE Special Seminar: Novel Functional Materials Fabricated from Natural Polymers via Environmentally Friendly Processes

Wednesday, April 5, 2017
2:10 PM

Professor Lina Zhang, College of Chemistry and Molecular Sciences, Wuhan University, China


Novel Functional Materials Fabricated from Natural Polymers via Environmentally Friendly Processes


Biopolymers existing in agricultural wastes such as cellulose, chitin and/or chitosan can be effectively dissolved in an environmentally friendly solvent system, alkali/urea aqueous system, and reprocessed and regenerated into novel functional materials including fibers, films, microspheres, plastics, hydrogels and aerogels. Among them, nano-micro-porous structure serves as a microreactor creating the inorganic and organic nanoparticles, having sensitively magnetic-induced delivery, identification abilities, high discharge capacity, low thermal conductivity, the excellent biocompatibility and the cells adhesion and proliferation. Hierarchical micro-nano-structured PANI embedded in cellulose matrix could efficiently promote the nervus ischiadicus regeneration. Hierarchical N/S-codoped carbon anodes obtained by pyrolyzing cellulose/PANI microspheres are useful for high-performance sodium-ion batteries. PANI/ phytic acid (PA)/cellulose composite electrodes displayed excellent cycling stability (over 12000 cycles) and high rate capability. More examples of functional materials made from chitin or chitosan will be discussed.


Lina Zhang is Professor of Chemistry at College of Chemistry and Molecular Sciences in Wuhan University, an Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and a recipient of 2011 Anselme Payen Award of the American Chemical Society. She is serving as an Associate Editor for ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering and also on the Editorial board members for journals of CelluloseBioactive Carbohydrates and Dietary Fibreand Journal of Applied Polymer Science etc. Professor Zhang has established the Natural Polymers and Polymer Physics group at Wuhan University in 1993 and has been devoting herself to the fundamental research and applications of agricultural biopolymers including cellulose, chitin, starch, alginate and soy protein, as well as fungi polysaccharides, as well as the properties and functions of the new materials derived from natural polymers.  Professor Zhang has been called as a part of “China’s Green Chemistry Vanguard” in a recent interview by British Royal Society of Chemistry.  She has published 16 books and more than 560 papers in international journals, and her work has been cited over 13000 times. She has been also awarded Second-place National Nature Science Prize of China (2012). She obtained over 100 patents, and was awarded for National Excellent Woman Inventor in China (2002).

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