Preparation and evaluation of oxygen scavenging nanocomposite films incorporating cellulose nanocrystals and Pd nanoparticles in poly(ethylene-co-vinyl alcohol)
There is current interest in active packaging, where the packaging material exhibits desirable functions in addition to containment of product. One of these functions is to reduce the oxygen content in the package in order to minimize product oxidation and spoilage, and prolong product shelf-life. In this work, we have developed novel nanocomposites, comprising cellulose nanocrystals and Pd nanoparticles embedded in an ethylene–vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH). The nanocellulose is a critical component in the nanocomposite because it acts not only as reducing agent for PdCl2 but also as support for the dispersion of Pd nanoparticles on EVOH film and enhances the physical properties of the EVOH. Pd nanoparticles react with oxygen to serve as oxygen scavenger. The cellulose nanocrystals have also been optionally oxidized, and the increased presence of carboxyl groups favored a better distribution of the Pd nanoparticles, thereby enabling improved oxygen absorption. These features make the nanocomposites promising candidates as active packaging materials. Included in this work are the preparation and the characterization of these materials.
KeywordsActive packaging Cellulose nanocrystals Ethylene–vinyl alcohol copolymer Polymer films Nanocomposite Oxygen scavenging Palladium nanoparticles
Adriane Cherpinski would like to thank the Brazilian Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) of the Brazilian Government for supporting her stay at USDA Peoria laboratories. This study would not have been possible without the financial support of her predoctoral Grant (205955/2014-2). Eduardo Espinosa is grateful to the Spanish Ministry of Science and Education for support his research through the National Program FPU (Grant Number FPU14/02278). The authors would also like to acknowledge the funding by the MINECO project of the Spanish Government AGL2015-63855-C2-1-R. The authors acknowledge the expert technical assistance of Jason Adkins at USDA and helpful suggestions from Dr. A. D. French. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
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