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Natural Polymers and Biopolymers III

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Macromolecular Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2023) | Viewed by 39307

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Guest Editor
Institut Charles Gerhardt Montpellier (ICGM), University of Montpellier, CNRS, ENSCM, 34095 Montpellier, France
Interests: green and sustainable chemistry; building-blocks from biomass; biobased monomers and polymers
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The past 20 years have seen a booming number of articles and reviews describing the use of bio-resources as a starting point for original polymer chemistry. Indeed, the use of renewable resources could help the chemical industry to solve some of the current challenges of our society: global warming and limited fossil resources. Hence, the latest developments not only have created a library of polymeric materials exhibiting a wide range of properties to fulfill the requirements of various industrial applications, but also have improved our knowledge and understanding of the structure and reactivity of the complex biomass. Additionally, these biopolymers could allow addressing unmet needs and obtaining new properties that cannot be achieved with petrobased chemicals. They could also help avoid the use of harmful substances, thus contributing to restoring chemical industry’s sustainability.

This Special Issue on "Natural Polymers and Biopolymers" is prompted by the increasing attention that the field of “green polymers” is receiving. It will present cutting-edge research works focusing on the use of bio-resources for polymeric materials and will show how natural polymers and biopolymers, with their interesting and original properties, are destined to replace and outperform oil-based polymers.

Dr. Sylvain Caillol
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Biopolymers
  • Bio-based polymers
  • Biomass
  • Biodegradation
  • Chemical functionalization
  • Crosslinking
  • Mechanical properties
  • Natural polymers
  • Recycling
  • Renewable resources
  • Structure characterization
  • Thermosets
  • Thermal properties
  • Toxicity and Environmental assessment

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Published Papers (15 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

3 pages, 185 KiB  
Editorial
A Blooming Season for Natural Polymers and Biopolymers
by Sylvain Caillol
Molecules 2023, 28(7), 3207; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28073207 - 4 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1002
Abstract
The year 2023 is particularly remarkable because we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the 12 principles of Green Chemistry described in the groundbreaking book Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice co-authored by Paul Anastas and John C [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymers and Biopolymers III)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

10 pages, 1617 KiB  
Article
HPLC Enantioseparation of Rigid Chiral Probes with Central, Axial, Helical, and Planar Stereogenicity on an Amylose (3,5-Dimethylphenylcarbamate) Chiral Stationary Phase
by Simona Rizzo, Tiziana Benincori, Francesca Fontana, Dario Pasini and Roberto Cirilli
Molecules 2022, 27(23), 8527; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27238527 - 3 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1378
Abstract
The chiral resolving ability of the commercially available amylose (3,5-dimethylphenylcarbamate)-based chiral stationary phase (CSP) toward four chiral probes representative of four kinds of stereogenicity (central, axial, helical, and planar) was investigated. Besides chirality, the evident structural feature of selectands is an extremely limited [...] Read more.
The chiral resolving ability of the commercially available amylose (3,5-dimethylphenylcarbamate)-based chiral stationary phase (CSP) toward four chiral probes representative of four kinds of stereogenicity (central, axial, helical, and planar) was investigated. Besides chirality, the evident structural feature of selectands is an extremely limited conformational freedom. The chiral rigid analytes were analyzed by using pure short alcohols as mobile phases at different column temperatures. The enantioselectivity was found to be suitable for all compounds investigated. This evidence confirms that the use of the amylose-based CSP in HPLC is an effective strategy for obtaining the resolution of chiral compounds containing any kind of stereogenic element. In addition, the experimental retention and enantioselectivity behavior, as well as the established enantiomer elution order of the investigated chiral analytes, may be used as key information to track essential details on the enantiorecognition mechanism of the amylose-based chiral stationary phase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymers and Biopolymers III)
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11 pages, 6371 KiB  
Article
Assessment of the Properties of Giant Reed Particleboards Agglomerated with Gypsum Plaster and Starch
by Maria Teresa Ferrandez-Garcia, Antonio Ferrandez-Garcia, Teresa Garcia-Ortuño and Manuel Ferrandez-Villena
Molecules 2022, 27(21), 7305; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27217305 - 27 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1155
Abstract
This paper analyzes the properties of composite particleboards made from a mix of giant reed with gypsum plaster and starch as binders. Experimental boards were manufactured with a 10:2 weight ratio of giant reed/gypsum plaster particles and different amounts of starch. Giant reed [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes the properties of composite particleboards made from a mix of giant reed with gypsum plaster and starch as binders. Experimental boards were manufactured with a 10:2 weight ratio of giant reed/gypsum plaster particles and different amounts of starch. Giant reed particles used were ≤0.25 mm. The mix was pressed at a temperature of 110 °C with a pressure of 2.6 MPa for 1, 2, and 3 h. The results showed that the boards manufactured with longer times in the press and with 10 wt.% starch achieved the best physical and mechanical properties, obtaining a modulus of rupture (MOR) of 17.5 N/mm2, a modulus of elasticity (MOE) of 3196 N/mm2, and an internal bounding strength (IB) of 0.62 N/mm2. Thickness swelling (TS) at 24 h of the panels was reduced from 36.16% to 28.37% when 10 wt.% starch was added. These results showed that giant reed–gypsum–starch particleboards can be manufactured with physical and mechanical properties that comply with European standards for use in building construction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymers and Biopolymers III)
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16 pages, 4500 KiB  
Article
Biosourced Poly(lactic acid)/polyamide-11 Blends: Effect of an Elastomer on the Morphology and Mechanical Properties
by Ali Fazli and Denis Rodrigue
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 6819; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27206819 - 12 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1719
Abstract
Fully biobased polylactide (PLA)/polyamide-11 (PA11) blends were prepared by melt mixing with an elastomer intermediate phase to address the low elasticity and brittleness of PLA blends. The incorporation of a biobased elastomer made of poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT) and polyethylene oxide (PEO) copolymers was [...] Read more.
Fully biobased polylactide (PLA)/polyamide-11 (PA11) blends were prepared by melt mixing with an elastomer intermediate phase to address the low elasticity and brittleness of PLA blends. The incorporation of a biobased elastomer made of poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT) and polyethylene oxide (PEO) copolymers was found to change the rigid interface between PLA and PA11 into a much more elastic/deformable one as well as promote interfacial compatibility. The interfacial tension of the polymer pairs and spreading coefficients revealed a high tendency of PEO to spread at the PLA/PA11 interface, resulting in a complete wetting regime (interfacial tension of 0.56 mN/m). A fully percolated rubbery phase (PEO) layer at the PLA/PA11 interface with enhanced interfacial interactions and PLA chain mobility contributed to a better distribution of the stress around the dispersed phase, leading to shear yielding of the matrix. The results also show that both the morphological modification and improved compatibility upon PEO addition (up to 20 wt %) contributed to the improved elongation at break (up to 104%) and impact strength (up to 292%) of the ternary PLA/PA11/PEO blends to obtain a super-tough multiphase system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymers and Biopolymers III)
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15 pages, 3382 KiB  
Article
Preparation of Biocomposites with Natural Reinforcements: The Effect of Native Starch and Sugarcane Bagasse Fibers
by Muriel Józó, Róbert Várdai, András Bartos, János Móczó and Béla Pukánszky
Molecules 2022, 27(19), 6423; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27196423 - 29 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1473
Abstract
Biocomposites were prepared from poly(lactic acid) and two natural reinforcements, a native starch and sugarcane bagasse fibers. The strength of interfacial adhesion was estimated by model calculations, and local deformation processes were followed by acoustic emission testing. The results showed that the two [...] Read more.
Biocomposites were prepared from poly(lactic acid) and two natural reinforcements, a native starch and sugarcane bagasse fibers. The strength of interfacial adhesion was estimated by model calculations, and local deformation processes were followed by acoustic emission testing. The results showed that the two additives influence properties differently. The strength of interfacial adhesion and thus the extent of reinforcement are similar because of similarities in chemical structure, the large number of OH groups in both reinforcements. Relatively strong interfacial adhesion develops between the components, which renders coupling inefficient. Dissimilar particle characteristics influence local deformation processes considerably. The smaller particle size of starch results in larger debonding stress and thus larger composite strength. The fracture of the bagasse fibers leads to larger energy consumption and to increased impact resistance. Although the environmental benefit of the prepared biocomposites is similar, the overall performance of the bagasse fiber reinforced PLA composites is better than that offered by the PLA/starch composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymers and Biopolymers III)
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20 pages, 4973 KiB  
Article
An Efficient Method of Birch Ethanol Lignin Sulfation with a Sulfaic Acid-Urea Mixture
by Alexander V. Levdansky, Natalya Yu. Vasilyeva, Yuriy N. Malyar, Alexander A. Kondrasenko, Olga Yu. Fetisova, Aleksandr S. Kazachenko, Vladimir A. Levdansky and Boris N. Kuznetsov
Molecules 2022, 27(19), 6356; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27196356 - 26 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1357
Abstract
For the first time, the process of birch ethanol lignin sulfation with a sulfamic acid-urea mixture in a 1,4-dioxane medium was optimized experimentally and numerically. The high yield of the sulfated ethanol lignin (more than 96%) and containing 7.1 and 7.9 wt % [...] Read more.
For the first time, the process of birch ethanol lignin sulfation with a sulfamic acid-urea mixture in a 1,4-dioxane medium was optimized experimentally and numerically. The high yield of the sulfated ethanol lignin (more than 96%) and containing 7.1 and 7.9 wt % of sulfur was produced at process temperatures of 80 and 90 °C for 3 h. The sample with the highest sulfur content (8.1 wt %) was obtained at a temperature of 100 °C for 2 h. The structure and molecular weight distribution of the sulfated birch ethanol lignin was established by FTIR, 2D 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy, and gel permeation chromatography. The introduction of sulfate groups into the lignin structure was confirmed by FTIR by the appearance of absorption bands characteristic of the vibrations of sulfate group bonds. According to 2D NMR spectroscopy data, both the alcohol and phenolic hydroxyl groups of the ethanol lignin were subjected to sulfation. The sulfated birch ethanol lignin with a weight average molecular weight of 7.6 kDa and a polydispersity index of 1.81 was obtained under the optimum process conditions. Differences in the structure of the phenylpropane units of birch ethanol lignin (syringyl-type predominates) and abies ethanol lignin (guaiacyl-type predominates) was manifested in the fact that the sulfation of the former proceeds more completely at moderate temperatures than the latter. In contrast to sulfated abies ethanol lignin, the sulfated birch ethanol lignin had a bimodal and wider molecular weight distribution, as well as less thermal stability. The introduction of sulfate groups into ethanol lignin reduced its thermal stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymers and Biopolymers III)
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14 pages, 1989 KiB  
Article
Plant Oil-Based Acrylic Latexes towards Multisubstrate Bonding Adhesives Applications
by Vasylyna Kirianchuk, Bohdan Domnich, Zoriana Demchuk, Iryna Bon, Svitlana Trotsenko, Oleh Shevchuk, Ghasideh Pourhashem and Andriy Voronov
Molecules 2022, 27(16), 5170; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27165170 - 13 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1494
Abstract
To investigate the utility of acrylic monomers from various plant oils in adhesives manufacturing, 25–45 wt. % of high oleic soybean oil-based monomer (HOSBM) was copolymerized in a miniemulsion with commercially applied butyl acrylate (BA), methyl methacrylate (MMA), or styrene (St). The compositions [...] Read more.
To investigate the utility of acrylic monomers from various plant oils in adhesives manufacturing, 25–45 wt. % of high oleic soybean oil-based monomer (HOSBM) was copolymerized in a miniemulsion with commercially applied butyl acrylate (BA), methyl methacrylate (MMA), or styrene (St). The compositions of the resulting ternary latex copolymers were varied in terms of both “soft” (HOSBM, BA) and “rigid” (MMA or St) macromolecular fragments, while total monomer conversion and molecular weight of copolymers were determined after synthesis. For most latexes, results indicated the presence of lower and higher molecular weight fractions, which is beneficial for the material adhesive performance. To correlate surface properties and adhesive performance of HOSBM-based copolymer latexes, contact angle hysteresis (using water as a contact liquid) for each latex-substrate pair was first determined. The data showed that plant oil-based latexes exhibit a clear ability to spread and adhere once applied on the surface of materials differing by polarities, such as semicrystalline polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polypropylene (PP), bleached paperboard (uncoated), and tops coated with a clay mineral paperboard. The effectiveness of plant oil-based ternary latexes as adhesives was demonstrated on PET to PP and coated to uncoated paperboard substrates. As a result, the latexes with high biobased content developed in this study provide promising adhesive performance, causing substrate failure instead of cohesive/adhesive break in many experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymers and Biopolymers III)
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14 pages, 2541 KiB  
Article
In Vitro Evaluation of Curcumin Encapsulation in Gum Arabic Dispersions under Different Environments
by Dwi Hudiyanti, Muhammad Fuad Al Khafiz, Khairul Anam, Parsaoran Siahaan and Sherllyn Meida Christa
Molecules 2022, 27(12), 3855; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27123855 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2011
Abstract
Biopolymers, especially polysaccharides (e.g., gum Arabic), are widely applied as drug carriers in drug delivery systems due to their advantages. Curcumin, with high antioxidant ability but limited solubility and bioavailability in the body, can be encapsulated in gum Arabic to improve its solubility [...] Read more.
Biopolymers, especially polysaccharides (e.g., gum Arabic), are widely applied as drug carriers in drug delivery systems due to their advantages. Curcumin, with high antioxidant ability but limited solubility and bioavailability in the body, can be encapsulated in gum Arabic to improve its solubility and bioavailability. When curcumin is encapsulated in gum Arabic, it is essential to understand how it works in various conditions. As a result, in Simulated Intestinal Fluid and Simulated Gastric Fluid conditions, we investigated the potential of gum Arabic as the drug carrier of curcumin. This study was conducted by varying the gum Arabic concentrations, i.e., 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, and 40%, to encapsulate 0.1 mg/mL of curcumin. Under both conditions, the greater the gum Arabic concentration, the greater the encapsulation efficiency and antioxidant activity of curcumin, but the worse the gum Arabic loading capacity. To achieve excellent encapsulation efficiency, loading capacity, and antioxidant activity, the data advises that 10% is the best feasible gum Arabic concentration. Regarding the antioxidant activity of curcumin, the findings imply that a high concentration of gum Arabic was effective, and the Simulated Intestinal Fluid brought an excellent surrounding compared to the Simulated Gastric Fluid solution. Moreover, the gum Arabic releases curcumin faster in the Simulated Gastric Fluid condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymers and Biopolymers III)
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13 pages, 2073 KiB  
Article
Conditions to Control Furan Ring Opening during Furfuryl Alcohol Polymerization
by Lucie Quinquet, Pierre Delliere and Nathanael Guigo
Molecules 2022, 27(10), 3212; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27103212 - 17 May 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2693
Abstract
The chemistry of biomass-derived furans is particularly sensitive to ring openings. These side reactions occur during furfuryl alcohol polymerization. In this work, the furan ring-opening was controlled by changing polymerization conditions, such as varying the type of acidic initiator or the water content. [...] Read more.
The chemistry of biomass-derived furans is particularly sensitive to ring openings. These side reactions occur during furfuryl alcohol polymerization. In this work, the furan ring-opening was controlled by changing polymerization conditions, such as varying the type of acidic initiator or the water content. The degree of open structures (DOS) was determined by quantifying the formed carbonyl species by means of quantitative 19F NMR and potentiometric titration. The progress of polymerization and ring opening were monitored by DSC and FT-IR spectroscopy. The presence of additional water is more determining on ring opening than the nature of the acidic initiator. Qualitative structural assessment by means of 13C NMR and FT-IR shows that, depending on the employed conditions, poly(furfuryl alcohol) samples can be classified in two groups. Indeed, either more ester or more ketone side groups are formed as a result of side ring opening reactions. The absence of additional water during FA polymerization preferentially leads to opened structures in the PFA bearing more ester moieties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymers and Biopolymers III)
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16 pages, 2402 KiB  
Article
Synthesis, Characterization, and Optimization Studies of Starch/Chicken Gelatin Composites for Food-Packaging Applications
by Jorge Iván Castro, Diana Paola Navia-Porras, Jaime Andrés Arbeláez Cortés, José Herminsul Mina Hernández and Carlos David Grande-Tovar
Molecules 2022, 27(7), 2264; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27072264 - 31 Mar 2022
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2703
Abstract
The indiscriminate use of plastic in food packaging contributes significantly to environmental pollution, promoting the search for more eco-friendly alternatives for the food industry. This work studied five formulations (T1–T5) of biodegradable cassava starch/gelatin films. The results showed the presence of the starch/gelatin [...] Read more.
The indiscriminate use of plastic in food packaging contributes significantly to environmental pollution, promoting the search for more eco-friendly alternatives for the food industry. This work studied five formulations (T1–T5) of biodegradable cassava starch/gelatin films. The results showed the presence of the starch/gelatin functional groups by FT-IR spectroscopy. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) showed a thermal reinforcement after increasing the amount of gelatin in the formulations, which increased the crystallization temperature (Tc) from 190 °C for the starch-only film (T1) to 206 °C for the film with 50/50 starch/gelatin (T3). It also exhibited a homogeneous surface morphology, as evidenced by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). However, an excess of gelatin showed low compatibility with starch in the 25/75 starch/gelatin film (T4), evidenced by the low Tc definition and very rough and fractured surface morphology. Increasing gelatin ratio also significantly increased the strain (from 2.9 ± 0.5% for T1 to 285.1 ± 10.0% for T5) while decreasing the tensile strength (from 14.6 ± 0.5 MPa for T1 to 1.5 ± 0.3 MPa for T5). Water vapor permeability (WVP) increased, and water solubility (WS) also decreased with gelatin mass rising in the composites. On the other hand, opacity did not vary significantly due to the films’ cassava starch and gelatin ratio. Finally, optimizing the mechanical and water barrier properties resulted in a mass ratio of 53/47 cassava starch/gelatin as the most appropriate for their application in food packaging, indicating their usefulness in the food-packaging industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymers and Biopolymers III)
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8 pages, 1093 KiB  
Article
Radical Formation in Sugar-Derived Acetals under Solvent-Free Conditions
by Aleksandra A. Wróblewska, H. Y. Vincent Ching, Jurrie Noordijk, Stefaan M. A. De Wildeman and Katrien V. Bernaerts
Molecules 2021, 26(19), 5897; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26195897 - 29 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1976
Abstract
The degradation of acetal derivatives of the diethylester of galactarate (GalX) was investigated by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy in the context of solvent-free, high-temperature reactions like polycondensations. It was demonstrated that less substituted cyclic acetals are prone to undergo radical degradation at [...] Read more.
The degradation of acetal derivatives of the diethylester of galactarate (GalX) was investigated by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy in the context of solvent-free, high-temperature reactions like polycondensations. It was demonstrated that less substituted cyclic acetals are prone to undergo radical degradation at higher temperatures as a result of hydrogen abstraction. The EPR observations were supported by the synthesis of GalX based polyamides via ester-amide exchange-type polycondensations in solvent-free conditions at high temperatures in the presence and in the absence of radical inhibitors. The radical degradation can be offset by the addition of a radical inhibitor. The radical is probably formed on the methylene unit between the oxygen atoms and subsequently undergoes a rearrangement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymers and Biopolymers III)
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14 pages, 3828 KiB  
Article
Extrusion Based 3D Printing of Sustainable Biocomposites from Biocarbon and Poly(trimethylene terephthalate)
by Elizabeth Diederichs, Maisyn Picard, Boon Peng Chang, Manjusri Misra and Amar Mohanty
Molecules 2021, 26(14), 4164; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26144164 - 8 Jul 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2483
Abstract
Three-dimensional (3D) printing manufactures intricate computer aided designs without time and resource spent for mold creation. The rapid growth of this industry has led to its extensive use in the automotive, biomedical, and electrical industries. In this work, biobased poly(trimethylene terephthalate) (PTT) blends [...] Read more.
Three-dimensional (3D) printing manufactures intricate computer aided designs without time and resource spent for mold creation. The rapid growth of this industry has led to its extensive use in the automotive, biomedical, and electrical industries. In this work, biobased poly(trimethylene terephthalate) (PTT) blends were combined with pyrolyzed biomass to create sustainable and novel printing materials. The Miscanthus biocarbon (BC), generated from pyrolysis at 650 °C, was combined with an optimized PTT blend at 5 and 10 wt % to generate filaments for extrusion 3D printing. Samples were printed and analyzed according to their thermal, mechanical, and morphological properties. Although there were no significant differences seen in the mechanical properties between the two BC composites, the optimal quantity of BC was 5 wt % based upon dimensional stability, ease of printing, and surface finish. These printable materials show great promise for implementation into customizable, non-structural components in the electrical and automotive industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymers and Biopolymers III)
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Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

17 pages, 2776 KiB  
Review
Locust Bean Gum, a Vegetable Hydrocolloid with Industrial and Biopharmaceutical Applications
by Max Petitjean and José Ramón Isasi
Molecules 2022, 27(23), 8265; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27238265 - 26 Nov 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 5205
Abstract
Locust bean gum (LBG), a vegetable galactomannan extracted from carob tree seeds, is extensively used in the food industry as a thickening agent (E410). Its molecular conformation in aqueous solutions determines its solubility and rheological performance. LBG is an interesting polysaccharide also because [...] Read more.
Locust bean gum (LBG), a vegetable galactomannan extracted from carob tree seeds, is extensively used in the food industry as a thickening agent (E410). Its molecular conformation in aqueous solutions determines its solubility and rheological performance. LBG is an interesting polysaccharide also because of its synergistic behavior with other biopolymers (xanthan gum, carrageenan, etc.). In addition, this hydrocolloid is easily modified by derivatization or crosslinking. These LBG-related products, besides their applications in the food industry, can be used as encapsulation and drug delivery devices, packaging materials, batteries, and catalyst supports, among other biopharmaceutical and industrial uses. As the new derivatized or crosslinked polymers based on LBG are mainly biodegradable and non-toxic, the use of this polysaccharide (by itself or combined with other biopolymers) will contribute to generating greener products, considering the origin of raw materials used, the modification procedures selected and the final destination of the products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymers and Biopolymers III)
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19 pages, 2105 KiB  
Review
Preparation, Marriage Chemistry and Applications of Graphene Quantum Dots–Nanocellulose Composite: A Brief Review
by Wan Hazman Danial, Nur Fathanah Md Bahri and Zaiton Abdul Majid
Molecules 2021, 26(20), 6158; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26206158 - 12 Oct 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3587
Abstract
Graphene quantum dots (GQDs) are zero-dimensional carbon-based materials, while nanocellulose is a nanomaterial that can be derived from naturally occurring cellulose polymers or renewable biomass resources. The unique geometrical, biocompatible and biodegradable properties of both these remarkable nanomaterials have caught the attention of [...] Read more.
Graphene quantum dots (GQDs) are zero-dimensional carbon-based materials, while nanocellulose is a nanomaterial that can be derived from naturally occurring cellulose polymers or renewable biomass resources. The unique geometrical, biocompatible and biodegradable properties of both these remarkable nanomaterials have caught the attention of the scientific community in terms of fundamental research aimed at advancing technology. This study reviews the preparation, marriage chemistry and applications of GQDs–nanocellulose composites. The preparation of these composites can be achieved via rapid and simple solution mixing containing known concentration of nanomaterial with a pre-defined composition ratio in a neutral pH medium. They can also be incorporated into other matrices or drop-casted onto substrates, depending on the intended application. Additionally, combining GQDs and nanocellulose has proven to impart new hybrid nanomaterials with excellent performance as well as surface functionality and, therefore, a plethora of applications. Potential applications for GQDs–nanocellulose composites include sensing or, for analytical purposes, injectable 3D printing materials, supercapacitors and light-emitting diodes. This review unlocks windows of research opportunities for GQDs–nanocellulose composites and pave the way for the synthesis and application of more innovative hybrid nanomaterials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymers and Biopolymers III)
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55 pages, 3546 KiB  
Review
Emergent Approaches to Efficient and Sustainable Polyhydroxyalkanoate Production
by Dattatray K. Bedade, Cody B. Edson and Richard A. Gross
Molecules 2021, 26(11), 3463; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26113463 - 7 Jun 2021
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 7362
Abstract
Petroleum-derived plastics dominate currently used plastic materials. These plastics are derived from finite fossil carbon sources and were not designed for recycling or biodegradation. With the ever-increasing quantities of plastic wastes entering landfills and polluting our environment, there is an urgent need for [...] Read more.
Petroleum-derived plastics dominate currently used plastic materials. These plastics are derived from finite fossil carbon sources and were not designed for recycling or biodegradation. With the ever-increasing quantities of plastic wastes entering landfills and polluting our environment, there is an urgent need for fundamental change. One component to that change is developing cost-effective plastics derived from readily renewable resources that offer chemical or biological recycling and can be designed to have properties that not only allow the replacement of current plastics but also offer new application opportunities. Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) remain a promising candidate for commodity bioplastic production, despite the many decades of efforts by academicians and industrial scientists that have not yet achieved that goal. This article focuses on defining obstacles and solutions to overcome cost-performance metrics that are not sufficiently competitive with current commodity thermoplastics. To that end, this review describes various process innovations that build on fed-batch and semi-continuous modes of operation as well as methods that lead to high cell density cultivations. Also, we discuss work to move from costly to lower cost substrates such as lignocellulose-derived hydrolysates, metabolic engineering of organisms that provide higher substrate conversion rates, the potential of halophiles to provide low-cost platforms in non-sterile environments for PHA formation, and work that uses mixed culture strategies to overcome obstacles of using waste substrates. We also describe historical problems and potential solutions to downstream processing for PHA isolation that, along with feedstock costs, have been an Achilles heel towards the realization of cost-efficient processes. Finally, future directions for efficient PHA production and relevant structural variations are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymers and Biopolymers III)
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