, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 683–695 | Cite as

Towards a new generation of functional fiber-based packaging: cellulose nanofibers for improved barrier, mechanical and surface properties

  • Quim Tarrés
  • Helena Oliver-Ortega
  • Paulo J. Ferreira
  • M. Àngels Pèlach
  • Pere Mutjé
  • Marc Delgado-Aguilar
Original Paper


The present work shows the suitability of using industrial fluting papers as raw material for the development of four different substrates, enzymatically refined and/or containing cellulose nanofibers (CNF) in bulk. These four substrates were deeply studied and treated with different coating formulations, containing CNF, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), native starch and alkyl ketene dimer, with the purpose of evaluating the benefits of using fiber-based packaging paper with improved mechanical, physical and barrier properties. The results showed that if CNF are coated in combination with PVA the tensile properties of paper can be significantly improved, as well as the grease resistance, whereas the air permeability and water vapor transmission rate decrease. The obtained papers present interesting vapor and air barrier properties, at the same time that unconceivable limits of breaking length are achieved (6.44 km). In addition, when a second layer of alkyl ketene dimer was coated on both sides of paper, the water contact angle was significantly improved, being higher than 115°. Overall, the present work shows the feasibility of recycled fibers for the production of high value-added papers that can be used for packaging purposes due to their improved barrier and mechanical properties, and contributes therefore for the bio-based circular economy.


Cellulose nanofibers Polyvinyl alcohol Recycled paper Packaging Barrier properties 



Authors wish to acknowledge the financial support of the Spanish Economy and Competitiveness Ministry to the project CTQ2013-48090-C2-2-R, as well as CYTED for the networking support in the frame of the project P316RT0095 - Red temática NANOCELIA.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LEPAMAP Research GroupUniversity of GironaGironaSpain
  2. 2.CIEPQPF, Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

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