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Open AccessArticle

Release of Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes from Biodegradable Poly(Lactic Acid) Films during Degradation and Combustion: Risk Associated with the End-of-Life of Nanocomposite Food Packaging Materials

1
Institute of Mechanics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Acad. G. Bonchev, Block 4, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
2
Research and Development of Nanomaterials and Nanotechnologies (NanoTechLab Ltd.), Acad. G. Bonchev, Block 4, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2018, 11(12), 2346; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11122346
Received: 29 October 2018 / Revised: 16 November 2018 / Accepted: 19 November 2018 / Published: 22 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Packaging: Materials and Technologies)
Nanoparticles of graphene and carbon nanotubes are attractive materials for the improvement of mechanical and barrier properties and for the functionality of biodegradable polymers for packaging applications. However, the increase of the manufacture and consumption increases the probability of exposure of humans and the environment to such nanomaterials; this brings up questions about the risks of nanomaterials, since they can be toxic. For a risk assessment, it is crucial to know whether airborne nanoparticles of graphene and carbon nanotubes can be released from nanocomposites into the environment at their end-life, or whether they remain embedded in the matrix. In this work, the release of graphene and carbon nanotubes from the poly(lactic) acid nanocomposite films were studied for the scenarios of: (i) biodegradation of the matrix polymer at the disposal of wastes; and (ii) combustion and fire of nanocomposite wastes. Thermogravimetric analysis in air atmosphere, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) were used to verify the release of nanoparticles from nanocomposite films. The three factors model was applied for the quantitative and qualitative risk assessment of the release of graphene and carbon nanotubes from nanocomposite wastes for these scenarios. Safety concern is discussed in respect to the existing regulations for nanowaste stream. View Full-Text
Keywords: graphene; carbon nanotubes; poly(lactic) acid; degradation; combustion; fire; risk analysis graphene; carbon nanotubes; poly(lactic) acid; degradation; combustion; fire; risk analysis
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Kotsilkov, S.; Ivanov, E.; Vitanov, N.K. Release of Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes from Biodegradable Poly(Lactic Acid) Films during Degradation and Combustion: Risk Associated with the End-of-Life of Nanocomposite Food Packaging Materials. Materials 2018, 11, 2346.

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