Sustainability and Circularity for Novel Bioactive and Biobased Solutions: Materials, Polymers, Coatings, and Processing

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Circular and Green Polymer Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 May 2024 | Viewed by 11973

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
FibEnTech Research Unit, Faculty of Engineering, University of Beira Interior, 6200-001 Covilhã, Portugal
Interests: antimicrobial function; nanofiber structures; microplastic; gels; bacterial cellulose; sustainable; biomedical applications
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue emphasizes the entire range of bio-inspired solutions toward a bio-based and a bioactive function, whereas polymer-based materials, coatings, and related topics have an improved sustainability and circularity concern when compared with the fossil-based state of the art.

The Special Issue aims to focus on novel approaches toward more sustainable development and the processing of polymer bio-based solutions to overcome the climate challenges and fossil-based materials, polymers, coatings, etc. It also aims to bring together bio-mimetic and bio-inspired strategies for bioactive function with concerns regarding sustainability and bacteria resistance.

  • Bioactive polymers;
  • Bioactive materials;
  • Bio-based sustainable polymers;
  • Antimicrobial surfaces and coatings;
  • Antimicrobial bio-based solutions;
  • Sustainable polymers and fibers;
  • Biorefineries feedstock for bio-based polymers;
  • Nature-based solutions;
  • Biomimetic solutions;
  • Safe-by-design bio-inspired polymers, materials, and coatings.

Dr. Isabel Gouveia
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • biobased polymers
  • bioactive function
  • sustainability
  • antimicrobial coatings
  • antimicrobial polymers
  • antimicrobial cleaning
  • biofilms
  • bacteria resistance
  • sustainable polymers

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 7057 KiB  
Article
Use of Raw Peach Gum as a Sustainable Additive for the Development of Water-Sensitive and Biodegradable Thermoplastic Starch Films
by Andrea Juan-Polo, Cristina Pavon, Harrison de la Rosa-Ramírez and Juan López-Martínez
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3359; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163359 - 10 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1256
Abstract
In this study, formulations of thermoplastic starch (TPS) with 5, 10, and 15 parts per hundred resin (phr) of raw peach gum (PG) were prepared by melt extrusion followed by injection molding to obtain standard specimens for characterization. In addition, biodegradable films were [...] Read more.
In this study, formulations of thermoplastic starch (TPS) with 5, 10, and 15 parts per hundred resin (phr) of raw peach gum (PG) were prepared by melt extrusion followed by injection molding to obtain standard specimens for characterization. In addition, biodegradable films were developed by compression molding. It was determined that TPS with 5 phr and 10 phr of PG presented similar mechanical behavior to pure TPS after the processing. However, results indicated that adding PG in 10 phr slowed down the starch’s retrogradation, delaying the TPS structure’s stiffening. Moreover, the TPS–PG formulations presented improved solubility, which increased by 24% with 10 and 15 phr of PG compared to that shown for TPS. Additionally, PG enhanced the compostability of TPS, causing the sample to disintegrate in a shorter period. In conclusion, it was determined that raw PG added in 10 phr could be added as a sustainable additive to modify the biodegradation and water sensitivity of TPS without affecting its mechanical behavior after processing and delaying the retrogradation of the TPS structure, increasing its shelf life. Full article
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21 pages, 5308 KiB  
Article
Natural Deep Eutectic Solvent Extraction of Bioactive Pigments from Spirulina platensis and Electrospinning Ability Assessment
by Rodrigo Martins, Cláudia Mouro, Rita Pontes, João Nunes and Isabel Gouveia
Polymers 2023, 15(6), 1574; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15061574 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2441
Abstract
The first ever nanofibers produced by the electrospinning of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and Spirulina platensis extracts are presented in this article. Spirulina platensis extracts were obtained by ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) using two different solvents: a glucose/glycerol-based natural deep eutectic solvent (NADES) and water. [...] Read more.
The first ever nanofibers produced by the electrospinning of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and Spirulina platensis extracts are presented in this article. Spirulina platensis extracts were obtained by ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) using two different solvents: a glucose/glycerol-based natural deep eutectic solvent (NADES) and water. Through spectrophotometry analysis, it was possible to determine the pigment yield of the extractions for both extracts: phycocyanin = 3.79 ± 0.05 mg/g of dry biomass (DB); chlorophylls = 0.24 ± 0.05 mg/g DB; carotenoids = 0.13 ± 0.03 mg/g DB for the NADES/Spirulina extracts, and phycocyanin = 0.001 ± 0.0005 mg/g DB; chlorophylls = 0.10 ± 0.05 mg/g DB; carotenoids = 0.20 ± 0.05 mg/g DB for water/Spirulina extracts. Emulsions were formed by mixing the microalgae extracts in PVA (9%, w/v) at different concentrations: 5, 20, 40, and 50% (v/v). Electrospinning was carried out at the following conditions: 13 cm of distance to collector; 80 kV of applied voltage; and 85 rpm of electrode rotation. After the nanofibers were collected, they were checked under a scanning electron microscope (SEM). ImageJ was also used to determine fiber diameter and frequency. SEM results showed the formation of nanofibers for 5 and 20% (v/v) of NADES/Spirulina extract content in the electrospinning emulsions, presenting diameters of 423.52 ± 142.61 nm and 680.54 ± 271.92 nm, respectively. FTIR confirmed the presence of the NADES extracts in the nanofibers produced. Overall, the nanofibers produced showed promising antioxidant activities, with the NADES/Spirulina- and PVA-based nanofibers displaying the highest antioxidant activity (47%). The highest antimicrobial activity (89.26%) was also obtained by the NADES/Spirulina and PVA nanofibers (20%, v/v). Principal Component Analysis (PCA) revealed positive correlations between both the antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of the electrospun nanofibers, and extract content in the emulsions. Moreover, PCA also indicated positive correlations between the viscosity and conductivity of the emulsions and the diameter of the nanofibers produced. Full article
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19 pages, 7064 KiB  
Article
Design and Preparation of a Biobased Colorimetric pH Indicator from Cellulose and Pigments of Bacterial Origin, for Potential Application as Smart Food Packaging
by Lúcia F. A. Amorim, Ana P. Gomes and Isabel C. Gouveia
Polymers 2022, 14(18), 3869; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14183869 - 15 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1823
Abstract
Nowadays, worldwide challenges such as global warming, pollution, unsustainable consumption patterns, and scarcity of natural resources are key drivers toward future-oriented bioeconomy strategies, which rely on renewable biobased resources, such as bacterial pigments and bacterial cellulose (BC), for materials production. Therefore, the purpose [...] Read more.
Nowadays, worldwide challenges such as global warming, pollution, unsustainable consumption patterns, and scarcity of natural resources are key drivers toward future-oriented bioeconomy strategies, which rely on renewable biobased resources, such as bacterial pigments and bacterial cellulose (BC), for materials production. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to functionalize bacterial cellulose with violacein, flexirubin-type pigment, and prodigiosin and test their suitability as pH indicators, due to the pigments’ sensitivity to pH alterations. The screening of the most suitable conditions to obtain the BC-pigment indicators was achieved using a full factorial design, for a more sustainable functionalization process. Then, the pH response of functionalized BC to buffer solutions was assessed, with color changes at acidic pH (BC-violacein indicator) and at alkaline pH (BC-violacein, BC-prodigiosin, and BC-flexirubin-type pigment indicators). Moreover, the indicators also revealed sensitivity to acid and base vapors. Furthermore, leaching evaluation of the produced indicators showed higher suitability for aqueous foods. Additionally, color stability of the functionalized BC indicators was carried out, after light exposure and storage at 4 °C, to evaluate the indicators’ capacity to maintain color/sensitivity. Thus, BC membranes functionalized with bacterial pigments have the potential to be further developed and used as pH indicators. Full article
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Review

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16 pages, 919 KiB  
Review
Plastics and Microplastic in the Cosmetic Industry: Aggregating Sustainable Actions Aimed at Alignment and Interaction with UN Sustainable Development Goals
by Anelise Leal Vieira Cubas, Ritanara Tayane Bianchet, Izamara Mariana Aparecida Souza dos Reis and Isabel C. Gouveia
Polymers 2022, 14(21), 4576; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14214576 - 28 Oct 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 5198
Abstract
Excessive use of petroleum derivatives in cosmetics, whether in compositions or packaging, predominating the use of plastics, parabens, microplastics and other polymers, has had negative environmental impacts. The cosmetics market has gained prominence in recent years and bioeconomy and circular economy policies are [...] Read more.
Excessive use of petroleum derivatives in cosmetics, whether in compositions or packaging, predominating the use of plastics, parabens, microplastics and other polymers, has had negative environmental impacts. The cosmetics market has gained prominence in recent years and bioeconomy and circular economy policies are putting pressure on the market to use bio-based and biodegradable materials. In this context, the objective of this review article is to provide an overview of how the aggregation of sustainable actions in the cosmetic industry contributes to the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda and how this can serve as a guide in building a more resilient and sustainable society. For that, the generation of residues during the production processes was examined and the environmental problems generated by the cosmetic industry were addressed. Then, the role of aggregating sustainable actions and innovations with regard to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the cosmetic industry were evaluated. Full article
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