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Polymers 2014, 6(6), 1676-1684; doi:10.3390/polym6061676
Article

Laccase Functionalization of Flax and Coconut Fibers

1,* , 2
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1 Enzymes & Polymers, Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology, Konrad Lorenz Strasse 20, 3430 Tulln, Austria 2 Biocatalysis and Technical Biology Research Group, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Bellville Campus, PO Box 1906, Bellville 7535, South Africa 3 DSM Innovative Synthesis B.V., Urmonderbaan 22, 6167 RD Geleen, P.O., 6160 MD Geleen, The Netherlands 4 Aachen-Maastrich Institute for Biobased Materials, Maastricht University, PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands 5 Institute for Environmental Biotechnology, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, Konrad Lorenz Strasse 20, 3430 Tulln, Austria
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 March 2014 / Revised: 20 May 2014 / Accepted: 26 May 2014 / Published: 30 May 2014
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Abstract

Natural fibers have gained much attention as reinforcing components in composite materials. Despite several interesting characteristics like low cost, low density, high specific properties and biodegradability they show poor compatibility with the polymer matrix. We have shown that it is possible to use a laccase from Trametes hirsuta as a biocatalyst to attach different types of functional phenolic molecules onto the fibers. A 5% incorporation of the functional molecules was achieved as measured via X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) in flax although it was lower in coconut fibers. In combination with different mediators it was possible to broaden the activation scope and graft hydrophobic molecules like dimer fatty amines. Among the different mediators tested 1-hydroxybenzotriazole (HBT), 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidin-1-yloxy (TEMPO) and 2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS), TEMPO were the most effective achieving a 10% increase in carbon as measured by XPS.
Keywords: laccase; flax; coconut; dimer fatty amine laccase; flax; coconut; dimer fatty amine
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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Acero, E.H.; Kudanga, T.; Ortner, A.; Kaluzna, I.; de Wildeman, S.; Nyanhongo, G.S.; Guebitz, G.M. Laccase Functionalization of Flax and Coconut Fibers. Polymers 2014, 6, 1676-1684.

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