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Research - Xie Group - WMG, University of Warwick

Summary

We have a long-term research focus on the following aspects of biopolymers (e.g. starch, chitosan, cellulose, alginate, gelatin):

  • Multilevel structures
  • Molecular interactions (e.g. hydrogen bonding, ionic interaction)
  • Dissolution and plasticisation
  • Chemical and physical modification
  • Innovative processing and manufacturing (reactive processes, ‘green’ processes, emerging techniques)
  • Structural evolution during processing, modification, ageing and usage
  • Blends, composites and nanocomposites
  • Processing-structure-property relationships
Featured research findings

Biopolymer blend materials studied by Dr Fengwei Xie


Biopolymer-based nanocomposites

Through our recent research into chitosan-based nanocomposites, we have:

  1. Identified factors determining nanofiller dispersion in biopolymers identified;
  2. Revealed mechanisms regarding nanofiller reinforcement effect on biopolymers;
  3. Uncovered the influence of material formulation (nanofiller, plasticiser, and biopolymer blending) on surface hydrophilicity;
  4. Elaborated competing interactions among biopolymer, nanofiller and plasticiser;
  5. Shown unexpected structures and properties of biopolymer composites (e.g. hydrolytic stability and high relative permittivity).

Learn more about our research in chitosan-based nanocomposites from the presentation slides for Frontiers in Green Materials 2020, 7-11 Dec 2020 (Recorded video here):


Current projects