Natural Fiber (Cellulose, Chitin)-Based Bioplastic Composites and Their Emerging Applications

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomacromolecules, Biobased and Biodegradable Polymers".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2024 | Viewed by 1230

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
College of Life Sciences, Global Campus, Plant & Environment and New Resources, Kyung Hee University, Republic of Korea
Interests: polymerization of bioplastics; physical properties; nanocomposites; nanocellulose fiber; chitin nanowhisker

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

To address the serious problem of environmental pollution around the world, bioplastics have been proposed as a solution. First, the use of biodegradable polymer is expected to reduce the growing amount of accumulated plastics waste. High-performance bioplastics are also suggested to replace petroleum-based plastics that are not biodegradable but are made from environmental hormones such as bisphenol A. However, bioplastics still have limitations compared to petroleum-based plastics. In particular, bioplastics have poor mechanical properties compared with petroleum-based plastics, which makes their commercialization difficult. 

However, it is environmentally undesirable to introduce non-biodegradable inorganic and carbon particles as fillers to enhance the mechanical properties of bioplastics. On the other hand, nanocellulose and nanochitin have great advantages as dispersed phases in bioplastic composites. These nanofibers are derived from natural products, which is in line with the sustainability values of bioplastics. In addition, since they are organic in nature, they have a small difference in surface energy compared to polymeric substrates and can be chemically modified to increase their miscibility with various polymeric substrates. Therefore, nanocellulose or nanochitin are suitable not only for biodegradable polymers, but also as dispersed phases to reinforce biobased polymeric materials for engineering plastics. In this Special Issue, we will discuss nanocellulose and nanochitin materials, which are attracting attention as eco-friendly dispersion phases for natural fiber-based polymer nanocomposites, and nanocomposites, coating films, polymer blends, and filters, membranes, battery matrices, and engineering plastics using them. 

Prof. Dr. Sung Yeon Hwang
Guest Editor

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  • biodegradable polymer
  • biobased polymer
  • cellulose nanofiber
  • chitin nanofiber
  • natural fiber based nanocomposites
  • biodegradable filter
  • high-barrier cellulose film
  • cellulose-based battery separators

Published Papers (1 paper)

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14 pages, 2604 KiB  
Effect of Plasma Treatment on Bamboo Fiber-Reinforced Epoxy Composites
by Pornchai Rachtanapun, Choncharoen Sawangrat, Thidarat Kanthiya, Parichat Thipchai, Kannikar Kaewapai, Jonghwan Suhr, Patnarin Worajittiphon, Nuttapol Tanadchangsaeng, Pitiwat Wattanachai and Kittisak Jantanasakulwong
Polymers 2024, 16(7), 938; - 29 Mar 2024
Viewed by 895
Bamboo cellulose fiber (BF)-reinforced epoxy (EP) composites were fabricated with BF subjected to plasma treatment using argon (Ar), oxygen (O2), and nitrogen (N2) gases. Optimal mechanical properties of the EP/BF composites were achieved with BFs subjected to 30 min [...] Read more.
Bamboo cellulose fiber (BF)-reinforced epoxy (EP) composites were fabricated with BF subjected to plasma treatment using argon (Ar), oxygen (O2), and nitrogen (N2) gases. Optimal mechanical properties of the EP/BF composites were achieved with BFs subjected to 30 min of plasma treatment using Ar. This is because Ar gas improved the plasma electron density, surface polarity, and BF roughness. Flexural strength and flexural modulus increased with O2 plasma treatment. Scanning electron microscopy images showed that the etching of the fiber surface with Ar gas improved interfacial adhesion. The water contact angle and surface tension of the EP/BF composite improved after 10 min of Ar treatment, owing to the compatibility between the BFs and the EP matrix. The Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy results confirmed a reduction in lignin after treatment and the formation of new peaks at 1736 cm−1, which indicated a reaction between epoxy groups of the EP and carbon in the BF backbone. This reaction improved the compatibility, mechanical properties, and water resistance of the composites. Full article
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