Stroe, Izabela RC
Cellulose is one of the most abundant compounds found in nature. However, the environmental conditions the substance is placed in is of utmost importance to the structure of the cellulose and must be controlled to ensure optimal strength and cohesiveness of the compound. Here, we developed a simple statistical physics model to simulate how thermodynamic properties affect microscopic cellulose. Depending on temperature, the type of hydrogen bonds holding the cellulose together dynamically change. The Specific Heat calculated in the simulation agrees well with cellulose's experimental Specific Heat value. Though only a simple model, the physics behind the simulation was able to reproduce experimental data with high accuracy and provides insights into the microscopic behavior of cellulose.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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