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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(6), 11040-11053; doi:10.3390/ijms150611040
Article

Cellulose Nanocrystals/ZnO as a Bifunctional Reinforcing Nanocomposite for Poly(vinyl alcohol)/Chitosan Blend Films: Fabrication, Characterization and Properties

1,* , 1,* , 1,4
, 2
 and 3,4
1 Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia 2 Materials Synthesis and Characterization Laboratory, Institute of Advanced Technology, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia 3 Institute of Tropical Forestry and Forest Products, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia 4 Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad 9187147578, Iran
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 April 2014 / Revised: 14 May 2014 / Accepted: 26 May 2014 / Published: 18 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials)
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Abstract

In this study, cellulose nanocrystals/zinc oxide (CNCs/ZnO) nanocomposites were dispersed as bifunctional nano-sized fillers into poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and chitosan (Cs) blend by a solvent casting method to prepare PVA/Cs/CNCs/ZnO bio-nanocomposites films. The morphology, thermal, mechanical and UV-vis absorption properties, as well antimicrobial effects of the bio-nanocomposite films were investigated. It demonstrated that CNCs/ZnO were compatible with PVA/Cs and dispersed homogeneously in the polymer blend matrix. CNCs/ZnO improved tensile strength and modulus of PVA/Cs significantly. Tensile strength and modulus of bio-nanocomposite films increased from 55.0 to 153.2 MPa and from 395 to 932 MPa, respectively with increasing nano-sized filler amount from 0 to 5.0 wt %. The thermal stability of PVA/Cs was also enhanced at 1.0 wt % CNCs/ZnO loading. UV light can be efficiently absorbed by incorporating ZnO nanoparticles into a PVA/Cs matrix, signifying that these bio-nanocomposite films show good UV-shielding effects. Moreover, the biocomposites films showed antibacterial activity toward the bacterial species Salmonella choleraesuis and Staphylococcus aureus. The improved physical properties obtained by incorporating CNCs/ZnO can be useful in variety uses.
Keywords: biocomposites; cellulose nanocrystals; bi-functional filler; poly(vinyl alcohol)/chitosan blend; UV absorption biocomposites; cellulose nanocrystals; bi-functional filler; poly(vinyl alcohol)/chitosan blend; UV absorption
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Azizi, S.; Ahmad, M.B.; Ibrahim, N.A.; Hussein, M.Z.; Namvar, F. Cellulose Nanocrystals/ZnO as a Bifunctional Reinforcing Nanocomposite for Poly(vinyl alcohol)/Chitosan Blend Films: Fabrication, Characterization and Properties. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15, 11040-11053.

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