Term of Award

Summer 2018

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Physical Science (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Digital Commons@Georgia Southern License


Department of Chemistry

Committee Chair

Rafael Quirino

Committee Member 1

Christine Whitlock

Committee Member 2

Ji Wu


The goal of the research contained in this thesis is to provide an alternative method of developing polymers than the current petroleum-based polymeric products. Vegetable oil-based polymers are a popular alternative due to their low-cost and low toxicity. The carbon-carbon double bonds in the oil are ideal reactive sites for a free radical polymerization. Cellulose is a naturally occurring polymer. Modifying cellulose prior to making composites with tung oil allows a hydrophilic material to mix better with a hydrophobic resin. Vegetable oil-based polymers usually require the reinforcement of fibers to enhance the thermo-mechanical properties that would replace petroleum-based polymers. In this manuscript, the preparation of a nonpolar matrix from the crosslinking of tung oil with co-monomers, divinylbenezene and n-butylmethacrylate, and its reinforcement with modified/unmodified cellulose is discussed. The nonpolar regions of the tung oil interact with the nonpolar filler obtained after cellulose modification. The successful modification of cellulose with tung oil was confirmed using FT-IR, DSC, and TGA. The optimal cure schedules were determined by DEA and confirmed through DSC. The thermo-mechanical properties were analyzed using TGA, DSC, and DMA.

Research Data and Supplementary Material