Environment-friendly packaging material: banana fiber/cowdung composite paperboard
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Wood is the main raw material for paper production, which in turn contributes to the decrease of forest resources. There is therefore a need of finding alternate sources for the production of paper. Here we prepared paperboard from the cowdung and banana fibers by chemical pulping. Banana fibers provide cellulose fibers, and lignin is removed. Pectin was added finely to the suspended pulp for binding fibers. Hydrogen peroxide was added to improve pulp brightness. The paper was tested for physical and mechanical properties. Results show that incorporation of cowdung increased the tensile and burst strength from 1 to 5 MPa and 10 to 50 kPa. The porosity was also decreased from 5 to 1 mL/min. The efficient water absorption (COBB) value was obtained for 50% of cowdung. The barrier properties such as oxygen transmission rate and water vapor transmission rate were gradually decreased to 1000 cc/m2 day atm and 5 g/m2 day. The antimicrobial properties of the prepared paperboard were tested against the Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, and it showed efficient activity against both the microorganisms.