Special Issue "Advanced Polymeric Materials and Nanocomposites for Green Plastics and Biodegradable Packaging"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Advanced Composites".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Valentina Siracusa
Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Sciences, Università degli Studi di Catania, Catania, Italy
Interests: synthesis and full characterization of biodegradable and bio-based polymers used as packaging materials; life cycle assessment study (LCA) of polymers and packaging
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, there has been an increasing concern about the growing amount of plastic waste, coming from daily life. The development of new products with lower environmental charge in their whole life cycle is becoming even more urgent, considering also that more than 40% of total plastics production is used for short-term applications, such as in the food-packaging sector. Further, million tons of consumed plastics end up in landfills, because waste burial is still the first option in many countries. Different kinds of synthetic plastics are used for an extensive range of needs, but in order to reduce the impact of petroleum-based plastics and materials waste, considerable attention has been focused on green and biodegradable plastics. In this context, advanced polymeric materials and nanocomposites have recently gained much attention. Starting monomers and chemicals coming from natural resources and/or food processing wastes can also be considered as promising candidates for polymers and nanocomposites production. Their use in the packaging sector could be helpful to reduce the problems associated with waste management, avoiding ecological problems and environmental pollution and reducing, at the same time, the huge consumption of nonrenewable and nonbiodegradable materials.

The aim of this Special Issue is to provide an overview of ongoing scientific and industrial research on this interesting topic.

Research as well as review articles are welcome.

Assoc. Prof. Valentina Siracusa
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Advanced Polymer Materials
  • Green Plastics
  • Nanocomposites polymers
  • Nanocomposites membrane
  • Biodegradable packaging
  • Biobased packaging
  • Edible films
  • Gas and water vapor barrier properties
  • Bio-polyesters

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Composite Edible Films Based on Pectin/Alginate/Whey Protein Concentrate
Materials 2019, 12(15), 2454; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12152454 - 01 Aug 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Edible films and coatings gained renewed interest in the food packaging sector with polysaccharide and protein blending being explored as a promising strategy to improve properties of edible films. The present work studies composite edible films in different proportions of pectin (P), alginate [...] Read more.
Edible films and coatings gained renewed interest in the food packaging sector with polysaccharide and protein blending being explored as a promising strategy to improve properties of edible films. The present work studies composite edible films in different proportions of pectin (P), alginate (A) and whey Protein concentrate (WP) formulated with a simplex centroid mixture design and evaluated for physico-chemical characteristics to understand the effects of individual components on the final film performance. The studied matrices exhibited good film forming capacity, except for whey protein at a certain concentration, with thickness, elastic and optical properties correlated to the initial solution viscosity. A whey protein component in general lowered the viscosity of the initial solutions compared to that of alginate or pectin solutions. Subsequently, a whey protein component lowered the mechanical strength, as well as the affinity for water, as evidenced from an increasing contact angle. The effect of pectin was reflected in the yellowness index, whereas alginate and whey protein affected the opacity of film. Whey protein favored higher opacity, lower gas barrier values and dense structures, resulting from the polysaccharide-protein aggregates. All films displayed however good thermal stability, with degradation onset temperatures higher than 170 °C. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Alkali Treatment on Structure and Properties of High Amylose Corn Starch Film
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1705; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101705 - 26 May 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Alkali treatment is used for melt extrusion film formation with corn starch, but optimal conditions for this procedure are still unknown. In this study, the changes in properties and structure of high amylose corn starch (70%) films with different concentrations of sodium hydroxide [...] Read more.
Alkali treatment is used for melt extrusion film formation with corn starch, but optimal conditions for this procedure are still unknown. In this study, the changes in properties and structure of high amylose corn starch (70%) films with different concentrations of sodium hydroxide (NaOH), prepared by melting extrusion, were investigated. With increasing sodium hydroxide concentrations, the tensile strength of the high-amylose starch film decreased gradually, while the elongation at break increased. The tensile strength of the high amylose starch (HAS) film with 2% NaOH-treatment was 10.03 MPa and its elongation at break was 40%. A 2% NaOH-treatment promoted the orderly rearrangement of starch molecules and formed an Eh-type crystal structure, which enlarged the spacing of the single helix structure, increased the molecular mobility of the starch, and slowed down the process of recrystallization; a 10% NaOH-treatment oxidized the hydroxyl groups of the high amylose corn starch during extrusion, formed a poly-carbonyl structure, and initiated the degradation and cross-linking of starch molecule chains. Full article
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