Environmentally Friendly Methylcellulose Blend Binder for Hydrophobic Dust Control

Taehee Lee, Christopher P. Camp, Bumjoon Kim, Minkyu Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A critical demand has existed for the past two decades to develop environmentally friendly, naturally degradable, and cost-effective materials to mitigate hydrophobic pollutants that directly endanger the environment and public health. Here, a newly developed methylcellulose blend (MCB), composed of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) and liquid amphiphilic polymer (LAP), synergistically enhanced the wettability of hydrophobic particles as a water additive and increased the average particle size as a binder. This observation was leveraged to evaluate MCB-based dust controlling materials via air filtering performance, mechanical vibration, and wind erosion tests. The filtration efficiency of filter membranes was enhanced up to 95% by a spray coating of MCB, while maintaining the same breathability as the untreated membrane. MCB sprayed on the surface of dust sources reduced generation of inhalable dust of <10 μm diameter up to 90% against a stream of air at 25 m/s compared to water treatment as a control. The effectiveness was maximal at 0.1% (w/v) HPMC and LAP due to molecular interactions between the MCB and hydrophobic dust at certain MCB constituent ratios. Altogether, the synergistic wettability and adhesiveness of the MCB provide the fundamental scientific concept and the technological progress to develop environmentally friendly formulations for advanced dust control technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1512-1522
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Polymer Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 11 2022


  • air filter
  • dust suppressant
  • hydrophobic dust
  • hydroxypropyl methylcellulose
  • liquid amphiphilic polymer
  • methylcellulose blend

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Organic Chemistry


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