Special Issue "Biopolymer-Based Composites: Current State of Knowledge and Future Perspectives"

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Biobased and Biodegradable Polymers".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Łukasz Klapiszewski
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Guest Editor
Institute of Chemical Technology and Engineering, Faculty of Chemical Technology, Poznan University of Technology, Berdychowo 4, PL-60965 Poznan, Poland
Interests: biopolymers; lignin chemistry; synthesis, characterization and applications of advanced functional materials; hybrid materials, biomaterials; polymer composites, biocomposites; (bio)additives and eco-friendly fillers
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Teofil Jesionowski
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Guest Editor
Institute of Chemical Technology and Engineering, Faculty of Chemical Technology, Poznan University of Technology, Berdychowo 4, PL-60965 Poznan, Poland
Interests: biopolymers; synthesis, characterization and applications of advanced functional materials; functional fillers and polymer composites; (bio)additives and eco-friendly fillers; biomineralization-inspired syntheses and extreme biomimetics; biocomposites and biomaterials; removal of wastewater pollutants via adsorption; photocatalysis or precipitation methods; pigment composites; enzyme immobilization; colloid chemistry and surface modification; hybrid systems; biosensors
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recently, polymers of natural origin (biopolymers) have become increasingly important for both scientific and industrial sectors. This especially applies to biopolymers used as components in many advanced applications due to their renewable nature, unique properties, and wide availability.

For several years, the attempt to combine widely used natural polymers (lignin, cellulose, chitin, and others) mainly with inorganic compounds has gained increasing importance, which has resulted in the production of new, advanced hybrid materials. They are usually characterized by very good mechanical properties, good thermal stability, as well as properly defined physicochemical and morphological properties. This opens up a new path for using such materials in various fields of science and industry, e.g., as cheap, eco-friendly polymer fillers and additives for materials widely used in everyday applications.

The goal of the presented Special Issue in Polymers is to share the most significant issues associated with the mentioned research topics as well as to elucidate the important trends for the near future.

Therefore, we invite everyone to submit their publications to a Special Edition dedicated to widely understood composites which include various biopolymers.

Dr. Łukasz Klapiszewski
Prof. Dr. Teofil Jesionowski
Guest Editors

Keywords

  • green chemistry
  • biopolymers
  • modification and/or activation of biopolymers
  • chemical characterization of biopolymers
  • bio-based hybrid materials
  • biocomposites
  • renewable materials
  • nano- and microcomposites
  • polymer composites/biocomposites
  • cement admixtures
  • composite recycling
  • interphase interactions
  • physicochemical and microstructural characteristics of composites

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Synthesis, Characterization and Sorption Capacity Examination for a Novel Hydrogel Composite Based on Gellan Gum and Graphene Oxide (GG/GO)
Polymers 2020, 12(5), 1182; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051182 - 21 May 2020
Abstract
A novel hydrogel composite based on gellan gum and graphene oxide (GG/GO) was synthesized, characterized and tested for sorption capacity in this work. The microstructural, thermogravimetric and spectroscopic analysis confirmed the formation of the GG/GO composite. Comparative batch sorption experiments revealed a sorption [...] Read more.
A novel hydrogel composite based on gellan gum and graphene oxide (GG/GO) was synthesized, characterized and tested for sorption capacity in this work. The microstructural, thermogravimetric and spectroscopic analysis confirmed the formation of the GG/GO composite. Comparative batch sorption experiments revealed a sorption capacity of the GG/GO composite for Zn (II) ions of approximately 2.3 higher than that of pure GG. The GG/GO composite exhibits a maximum sorption capacity of 272.57 mg/g at a pH of Zn (II) initial solution of 6. Generally, the sorption capacity of the sorbents is approximately 1.5 higher in slightly acidic conditions (pH 6) comparative with that for strong acidic conditions (pH 3). The sorption isotherms revealed that the sorption followed a monolayer/homogenous behavior. The sorption kinetic data were well fitted by the pseudo-second-order kinetic model, and were consistent with those derived from sorption isotherms. The intraparticle diffusion was considered to be the rate-determining step. Two main sorption mechanisms for Zn (II) were identified namely, ion exchange at low pH values, and both ion exchange and chemisorption in weekly acidic conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Biopolymer-Based Hybrids as Effective Admixtures for Cement Composites
Polymers 2020, 12(5), 1180; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051180 - 21 May 2020
Abstract
In the framework of this publication, silica-lignin hybrid materials were designed, obtained, characterized and then used as admixtures for cement composites. High-energy mechanical grinding of individual components was used to produce the systems that allowed ensuring adequate homogeneity of the final products. As [...] Read more.
In the framework of this publication, silica-lignin hybrid materials were designed, obtained, characterized and then used as admixtures for cement composites. High-energy mechanical grinding of individual components was used to produce the systems that allowed ensuring adequate homogeneity of the final products. As a result of the analysis of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, it has been confirmed that weak physical interactions occur between the components. This allowed classifying the resulting systems as I class hybrid materials. In addition, the efficiency of obtaining final products was also inferred on the basis of obtained porous structure parameters and colorimetric data. The achieved bio-admixture with different weight ratios of silica and lignin was added to cement pastes in the amount ranging from 0.5 to 1 wt.%. The study showed that increasing the ratio of lignin in the admixture from 0.15 to 1 wt.% had a positive effect on the rheological properties of the pastes, while the mechanical properties of the composite were deteriorated. In turn, a higher amount of silica in the admixture acted in reverse. The most favorable results were obtained for a silica-lignin bio-admixture with a weight ratio of components equal to 5:1 wt./wt. A significant increase in compressive strength was gained at satisfactory plasticity of the paste. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Collagen Scaffolds Containing Hydroxyapatite-CaO Fiber Fragments for Bone Tissue Engineering
Polymers 2020, 12(5), 1174; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051174 - 20 May 2020
Abstract
Collagen (COL) and hydroxyapatite (HAp) are the major components of bone, therefore, COL-HAp composites have been widely used as bone substitutes to promote bone regeneration. We have reported that HAp-CaO fibers (HANFs), which were fabricated by a sol-gel route followed by an electrospinning [...] Read more.
Collagen (COL) and hydroxyapatite (HAp) are the major components of bone, therefore, COL-HAp composites have been widely used as bone substitutes to promote bone regeneration. We have reported that HAp-CaO fibers (HANFs), which were fabricated by a sol-gel route followed by an electrospinning technique, possessed good drug-loading efficiency and limited the burst release of tetracycline. In the present study, we used HANF fragments to evaluate the effects of COL-HANF scaffolds on MG63 osteoblast-like cell behaviors. COL-HANF composite scaffolds in which the average diameter of HANFs was approximately 461 ± 186 nm were fabricated by a freeze-drying process. The alkaline phosphatase activity and the protein expression levels of OCN and BSP showed that compared with COL alone, the COL-HANF scaffold promoted the differentiation of MG63 osteoblast-like cells. In addition, the bone regeneration ability of the COL-HANF scaffold was examined by using a rabbit condylar defect model in vivo. The COL-HANF scaffold was biodegradable and promoted bone regeneration eight weeks after the operation. Hence, we concluded that the COL-HANF scaffold has potential as a bone graft for bone tissue engineering. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of MgO-Lignin Dual Component Additives on Selected Properties of Low Density Polyethylene
Polymers 2020, 12(5), 1156; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051156 - 18 May 2020
Abstract
The presented study describes the application of lignin-based dual component fillers into low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and an examination of their selected properties. The main experimental procedure was focused on the preparation of thin sheet films using polyethylene and its composites with 5% by [...] Read more.
The presented study describes the application of lignin-based dual component fillers into low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and an examination of their selected properties. The main experimental procedure was focused on the preparation of thin sheet films using polyethylene and its composites with 5% by wt. of fillers: MgO, MgO-lignin dual phase systems with varying amounts of lignin and pristine lignin. Analysis of morphology revealed that elongated voids appeared in the structure for hybrid filler with a higher content of lignin (min. 50% by wt. of lignin versus MgO) and also for pristine lignin. Moreover, the prepared sheets were subjected to the thermoforming process by using the positive forming method (male mold). The thermoforming ability of all composites was evaluated by means of a comparison of wall thickness distribution on thermoformed shapes. The most noticeable percentage of wall thinning occurred for films which consisted of LDPE/MgO-lignin (5:1 wt./wt.) composite. In contrast, the best material arrangement and the highest mean percentage wall thickness were observed in the case of the shape formed with LDPE/MgO-lignin (1:5 wt./wt.). In addition, as part of research studies, the measurements of the contact angle have been conducted. The analysed LDPE films, in particular LDPE/MgO-L, have been recognized as materials with high wettability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Unidirectional All-Cellulose Composites from Flax via Controlled Impregnation with Ionic Liquid
Polymers 2020, 12(5), 1010; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051010 - 28 Apr 2020
Abstract
Mechanically strong all-cellulose composites are very attractive in the terms of fully bio-based and bio-degradable materials. Unidirectional flax-based all-cellulose composites are prepared via facile room-temperature impregnation with an ionic liquid, 1-ethyl-3-methyl imidazolium acetate. To determine the optimal processing conditions, the kinetics of flax [...] Read more.
Mechanically strong all-cellulose composites are very attractive in the terms of fully bio-based and bio-degradable materials. Unidirectional flax-based all-cellulose composites are prepared via facile room-temperature impregnation with an ionic liquid, 1-ethyl-3-methyl imidazolium acetate. To determine the optimal processing conditions, the kinetics of flax dissolution in this solvent is first studied using optical microscopy. Composite morphology, crystallinity, density, the volume fraction of cellulose II and tensile properties are investigated, indicating that flax dissolution should be within certain limits. On the one hand, the amount of cellulose II formed through dissolution and coagulation should be high enough to “fuse” flax fibers, resulting in a density increase. On the other hand, only the surface layer of the fibers should be dissolved to maintain the strength provided by the inner secondary layer and avoid a detrimental decrease in crystallinity. The highest Young’s modulus and strength, 10.1 GPa and 151.3 MPa, respectively, are obtained with a crystallinity of 43% and 20 vol% of cellulose II. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Triply Biobased Thermoplastic Composites of Polylactide/Succinylated Lignin/Epoxidized Soybean Oil
Polymers 2020, 12(3), 632; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12030632 - 10 Mar 2020
Abstract
Soybean oil is beneficial to improve the compatibility between polylactide (PLA) and succinylated lignin (SAL), which leads to the preparation of a host of biobased composites containing PLA, SAL, and epoxidized soybean oil (ESO). The introduction of SAL and ESO enables the relatively [...] Read more.
Soybean oil is beneficial to improve the compatibility between polylactide (PLA) and succinylated lignin (SAL), which leads to the preparation of a host of biobased composites containing PLA, SAL, and epoxidized soybean oil (ESO). The introduction of SAL and ESO enables the relatively homogeneous morphology and slightly better miscibility obtained from triply PLA/SAL/ESO composites after dynamic vulcanization compared with unmodified PLA. The rigidity of the composites is found to decline gradually due to the addition of flexible molecular chains. According to the reaction between SAL and ESO, the Tg of PLA/SAL/ESO composites is susceptible to the movement of flexible molecular chains. The rheological behaviors of PLA/SAL/ESO under different conditions, i.e., temperature and frequency, exhibit a competition between viscidity and elasticity. The thermal stability of the composites displays a slight decrease due to the degradation of SAL and then the deterioration of ESO. The elongation at break and notched impact strength of the composites with augmentation of ESO increase by 12% and 0.5 kJ/m2, respectively. The triply biobased PLA/SAL/ESO composite is thus deemed as a bio-renewable and environmentally friendly product that may find vast applications. Full article
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