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Cellulose-starch Hybrid Films Plasticized by Aqueous ZnCl2 Solution

1,2, 1,2, 1,2, 1,2,* and 3,4,5,*
1
School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
2
Fine Chemical Research Institute, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
3
Institute of Advanced Study, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7HS, UK
4
International Institute for Nanocomposites Manufacturing (IINM), WMG, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
5
School of Chemical Engineering, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 474; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030474
Received: 25 December 2018 / Revised: 13 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 22 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biobased and/or Biodegradable Polymeric Materials)
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Abstract

Starch and cellulose are two typical natural polymers from plants that have similar chemical structures. The blending of these two biopolymers for materials development is an interesting topic, although how their molecular interactions could influence the conformation and properties of the resultant materials has not been studied extensively. Herein, the rheological properties of cellulose/starch/ZnCl2 solutions were studied, and the structures and properties of cellulose-starch hybrid films were characterized. The rheological study shows that compared with starch (containing mostly amylose), cellulose contributed more to the solution’s viscosity and has a stronger shear-thinning behavior. A comparison between the experimental and calculated zero-shear-rate viscosities indicates that compact complexes (interfacial interactions) formed between cellulose and starch with ≤50 wt % cellulose content, whereas a loose structure (phase separation) existed with ≥70 wt % cellulose content. For starch-rich hybrid films prepared by compression molding, less than 7 wt % of cellulose was found to improve the mechanical properties despite the reduced crystallinity of the starch; for cellulose-rich hybrid films, a higher content of starch reduced the material properties, although the chemical interactions were not apparently influenced. It is concluded that the mechanical properties of biopolymer films were mainly affected by the structural conformation, as indicated by the rheological results. View Full-Text
Keywords: cellulose-starch blend films; ZnCl2 solution; rheological properties; mechanical properties; morphology; crystallinity; polysaccharides; natural polymers; solution casting; compression molding cellulose-starch blend films; ZnCl2 solution; rheological properties; mechanical properties; morphology; crystallinity; polysaccharides; natural polymers; solution casting; compression molding
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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 (CC BY 4.0).
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Shang, X.; Jiang, H.; Wang, Q.; Liu, P.; Xie, F. Cellulose-starch Hybrid Films Plasticized by Aqueous ZnCl2 Solution. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 474.

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