Preparation of nanofibrillated cellulose and application in reinforced PLA/starch nanocomposite film
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Polylactic acid (PLA), one of the most promising biopolymers with exceptional properties, is being used in a wide variety of applications in diverse fields. However, low degradation rate, relatively high cost and inherently high brittleness of PLA severely hamper its further development, particularly in functional nanocomposites for bio-based packaging. In the present work, green, biodegradable and reinforced PLA-based nanocomposite films were designed and prepared, where starch was incorporated for reducing the overall cost of nanocomposites for large-scale application, and nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) isolated from microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) via a completely green process was employed as a reinforcing phase. Initially, the morphology structure and dimension of the NFC samples isolated by high-pressure homogenization (HPH) coupled with hot water pretreatment were characterized using SEM, FT-IR, XRD, and laser scattering particle analyzer. Moreover, the effect of NFC loadings on the rheological behavior of the PLA based nanocomposite suspensions and the overall properties of the corresponding nanocomposite films were investigated. Results indicated that increased NFC loadings reduced the shear viscosity and shear stress of the nanocomposite suspensions. Furthermore, the desired PLA/starch/NFC nanocomposite films were found to exhibit improved tensile strength, Young’s modulus and reduced air permeability in comparison to pure PLA/starch films. This work offered an effective route for the preparation of biodegradable and reinforced PLA-based nanocomposite films, which may be promising bio-nanocomposite materials for food packaging applications.
KeywordsNanofibrillated cellulose Reinforced nanocomposite films Rheological behavior Mechanical properties
This work was financially supported by the Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. LY14C160003, LQ16C160002), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31100442), the Public Projects of Zhejiang Province (Grant Nos. 2017C31059, LGG19C160002), Zhejiang Provincial Top Key Academic Discipline of Chemical Engineering, Technology, Zhejiang Open Foundation of the Most Important Subjects (Grant No. 2016KF01), 521 Talent Cultivation Program of Zhejiang Sci-Tech University (Grant No. 11110132521310), Open Foundation of Key Laboratory of Renewable Energy, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. Y607s11001).
Yanjun Tang and Jiangchun Mao conceived and designed the experiments; Jiangchun Mao, and Ruonan Zhao performed the experiments and analyzed the data; Jiangchun Mao, Yanjun Tang, Ruonan Zhao, Yiming Zhou, and Zhanbin Wang wrote the paper. All authors reviewed the manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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