Hyung Ju Kim

PhD, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, 2013
Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

B.S., Chemical & Biological Engineering, 2008
Korea University, Seoul, Korea

Research Focus:Novel composites, porous materials & dispersions based on microfilbrillated cellulose

Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) is natural bioresource material composed of microsized cellulose fibrils with a high aspect ratio. Through a homogenization process, the fibers in plant cell wall are moderately degraded and opened into their substructural fibrils and even microfibrils. MFC is abundant, biodegradable, and biocompatible and possesses several useful properties, such as large surface area, high tensile strength, and high elasticity. It has a broad range of potential applications in foods, paints, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and novel materials.

The first objective of this project is to understand the behavior, interactions and stability of MFC composites & dispersions in the presence of a second solid disperse phase. On this fundamental basis, we are then interested in the making of novel porous structures, thin organized films, and a range of composites. By incorporating inorganic particles into MFC matrix, and controlling the MFC-NP interactions, we could fabricate a range of bio-nanocomposites. Expected properties of these composites are hydrophobicity causing low permeability to water as well as maximum stiffness, surface smoothness, uniformity of the structure and biodegradability.