Design of biocomposites based on nanocellulose and hemicelluloses for future packaging materials (BioPack)

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description (abstract)

Funding: Academy of Finland, WoodWisdom-Net programme
Collaboration: Dr. Lennart Salmen, Innventia, Sweden (coordinator); Prof. Paul Gatenholm, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden; Dr. Catherine Joly, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, France; Dr. Caroline Remond, IUMR FARE INRA Reims, France
Project description:
The objective of the project is to develop a new biobased packaging materials based on nanocellulose and hemicelluloses providing both good mechanical properties such as strength and flexibility as well as good oxygen barrier properties. Biopolymers from renewable resources (or renewable carbon) are much studied as a potential alternative for "green" materials in packaging. As all polar polymers, hemicelluloses create a dense network made of macromolecules presenting low mobility or more exactly a mobility dependant on the water content and plasticizer type and content. It is well known that mobility and polarity of molecules are directly related to the gas permeation properties. Starch, proteins or hemicelluloses are potential candidates, for new packaging materials but compared with starch, hemicelluloses present i) the advantage to be amorphous (transparent films), ii) properties much more variable as a function of the botanic origin, the isolation method, and the rate of branching. In this project the specific drawbacks of hemicelluloses (its water sensitivity and low strength) will be enhanced with the introduction of nanocellulose and plasticizers. Thus hemicelluloses from various sources will be isolated, characterized and modified in order to obtain an optimal blend with nanocellulose. From these nanocomposites and blends balanced gas permeation properties can be achieved together with good mechanical properties.
Effective start/end date01/01/200831/12/2010