Biopolymers from Renewable Sources and Their Applications II

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 February 2024) | Viewed by 8375

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC BarcelonaTech), 08222 Terrassa, Spain
Interests: edible packaging; edible coatings; food packaging; starch
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Poly2 Group, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Technical University of Catalonia (UPC BarcelonaTech), ESEIAAT, C/Colom 11, 08222 Terrassa, Spain
Interests: polymers; composites; foams; nanocomposites
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The implementation of circular economy systems and the increasing focus on minimizing the disposal of non-biodegradable materials deliver significant benefits to the environment, such as the preservation of fossil raw materials, reduction of landfill waste, and reduction of CO2 emissions. It also increases the need to constantly investigate new and innovative ways to use materials from renewable sources.

In this context, research for the development of materials from renewable sources like lipids, plant-based proteins (zein, soy, pea, gluten), animal-based proteins (gelatin, whey, casein), and polysaccharides (starch, chitosan, sodium alginate, pectin, gums) has grown significantly in recent years.

Some of these environment-friendly materials can be used to develop flexible films, rigid sheets, and foams. They can also be processed into edible systems such as coatings. In addition to being edible, these can also carry antimicrobial and antioxidant functionalities through the addition of bioactive compounds, extending their application to the preparation of bioactive and biodegradable films, foams, and packaging.

This Special Issue will present the most recent research works and reviews dedicated to polymers from renewable sources and their potential applications in the short and long term.

Prof. Dr. Farayde Matta Fakhouri
Prof. Dr. José Ignacio Velasco
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • biodegradable packaging
  • active packaging
  • bioactive compounds
  • agricultural products
  • food packaging
  • biodegradable foams
  • edible films and edible coatings

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 1905 KiB  
Article
Optimization of Laminated Bio-Polymer Fabrication for Food Packaging Application: A Sustainable Plasma-Activated Approach
by Giacomo Foli, Filippo Capelli, Mariachiara Grande, Stefano Tagliabue, Matteo Gherardi and Matteo Minelli
Polymers 2024, 16(13), 1851; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16131851 - 28 Jun 2024
Viewed by 455
Abstract
The current level of packaging consumption imposes a need to fabricate single-use food packaging with renewable and compostable materials, such as bio-polyesters (e.g., polylactic acid, PLA and polybutylene succinate, PBS) or cellulose, but their use is still problematic. Fabrication of bio-compostable composites can [...] Read more.
The current level of packaging consumption imposes a need to fabricate single-use food packaging with renewable and compostable materials, such as bio-polyesters (e.g., polylactic acid, PLA and polybutylene succinate, PBS) or cellulose, but their use is still problematic. Fabrication of bio-compostable composites can specifically address impeding challenges, and adhesive lamination, achieved with compostable glue, is becoming more and more popular with respect to the less versatile hot lamination. In this context, plasma activation, a chemical-free oxidation technique of a material’s surface, is used to increase the affinity of three different biomaterials (cellulose, PLA and PBS) toward a compostable polyurethane adhesive to decrease its amount by gluing bio-polyesters to cellulose. Optical Microscopy reveals activation conditions that do not affect the integrity of the materials, while Water Contact Analyses confirm the activation of the surfaces, with contact angles decreased to roughly 50 deg in all cases. Unexpectedly, ζ-potential analyses and subtractive infrared spectroscopy highlight how the activation performed superficially etches cellulose, while for both PLA and PBS, a general decrease in surface potential and an increase in superficial hydroxyl group populations confirm the achievement of the desired oxidation. Thus, we rationalize continuous activation conditions to treat PLA and PBS and to glue them to neat cellulose. While no beneficial effect is observed with activated PLA, bi-laminate composites fabricated with activated PBS fulfill the benchmark for adhesion strength using less than before, while oxygen permeation analyses exclude plasma-induced etching even at a nanoscale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers from Renewable Sources and Their Applications II)
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18 pages, 3245 KiB  
Article
Effect of Adding Red Propolis to Edible Biodegradable Protein Films for Coating Grapes: Shelf Life and Sensory Analysis
by Cristina Tostes Filgueiras, Farayde Matta Fakhouri, Vitor Augusto dos Santos Garcia, José Ignacio Velasco, Gislaine Ferreira Nogueira, Luan Ramos da Silva and Rafael Augustus de Oliveira
Polymers 2024, 16(7), 888; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16070888 - 24 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1070
Abstract
Red propolis is an active ingredient of great nutritional interest which offers numerous benefits as an antioxidant and antimicrobial agent. Thus, the objective of this research was to evaluate the application of an edible and antimicrobial gelatine coating containing red propolis to increase [...] Read more.
Red propolis is an active ingredient of great nutritional interest which offers numerous benefits as an antioxidant and antimicrobial agent. Thus, the objective of this research was to evaluate the application of an edible and antimicrobial gelatine coating containing red propolis to increase the shelf life of grapes. Gelatine films with an addition of 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25% of red propolis extract were produced to evaluate their antimicrobial activity using the disk diffusion test in solid media. The films with 25% red propolis extract showed antimicrobial activity against the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The grapes were coated with pure gelatine, without a plasticizer and with gelatine with 25% red propolis and then stored for 1, 4, 10, 19 and 25 days at temperatures of 25 °C and 5 °C. The results showed that the gelatine coating with propolis reduced the mass loss of grapes stored at 25 °C for 19 days by 7.82% and by 21.20% for those kept at 5 °C for 25 days. The pH, total titratable acidity, soluble solids and color of the grapes increased due to the ripening process. Furthermore, the sensory acceptability indexes of the refrigerated grapes with coatings were superior (>78%) to those of the control samples (38%), proving the effectiveness of the coatings in maintaining the quality of grapes during storage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers from Renewable Sources and Their Applications II)
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21 pages, 5178 KiB  
Article
Tailoring PLA/ABS Blends Compatibilized with SEBS-g-MA through Annealing Heat Treatment
by Anna Raffaela de Matos Costa, Carlos Bruno Barreto Luna, Emanuel Pereira do Nascimento, Eduardo da Silva Barbosa Ferreira, Claudia de Matos Costa, Yeda Medeiros Bastos de Almeida and Edcleide Maria Araújo
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3434; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163434 - 17 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1388
Abstract
In this work, blends based on poly (lactic acid) (PLA)/acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) compatibilized with maleic anhydride-grafted (SEBS-g-MA) were prepared in a co-rotational twin-screw extruder by varying the concentrations of the compatibilizing agent. The influence of the compatibilizing agent on the morphology, mechanical, thermal, thermomechanical, [...] Read more.
In this work, blends based on poly (lactic acid) (PLA)/acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) compatibilized with maleic anhydride-grafted (SEBS-g-MA) were prepared in a co-rotational twin-screw extruder by varying the concentrations of the compatibilizing agent. The influence of the compatibilizing agent on the morphology, mechanical, thermal, thermomechanical, and rheological properties of the prepared materials was analyzed. The effect of annealing on the properties of the blends was also investigated using injection-molded samples. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) results proved that the increments in crystallinity were an effect of annealing in the PLA/ABS/SEBS-g-MA blends, resonating at higher heat deflection temperatures (HDTs). The impact strength of the PLA/ABS blends compatibilized with 10 wt% SEBS-g-MA was significantly increased when compared to the PLA/ABS blends. However, the hardness and elastic modulus of the blends decreased when compared to neat PLA. The refined morphology shown in the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analyses corroborated the improved impact strength promoted by SEBS-g-MA. The torque rheometer degradation study also supported the increased compatibility between SEBS-g-MA, PLA, and ABS. The TGA results show that the PLA/ABS and PLA/ABS/SEBS-g-MA blends are more thermally stable than the neat PLA polymer at higher temperatures. The results showed that the ideal composition is the heat-treated PLA/ABS/SEBS-g-MA (60/30/10 wt%), given the high impact strength and HDT results. The results of this work in terms of mechanical improvement with the use of compatibilizers and annealing suggest that the PLA/ABS/SEBS-g-MA system can be used in the production of 3D-printing filaments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers from Renewable Sources and Their Applications II)
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12 pages, 4726 KiB  
Article
Optimization of Textile Waste Blends of Cotton and PET by Enzymatic Hydrolysis with Reusable Chemical Pretreatment
by Antika Boondaeng, Jureeporn Keabpimai, Preeyanuch Srichola, Pilanee Vaithanomsat, Chanaporn Trakunjae and Nanthavut Niyomvong
Polymers 2023, 15(8), 1964; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15081964 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2835
Abstract
Textile waste usually ends up in landfills and causes environmental pollution. In this study, pretreatment methods for textile recycling, including autoclaving, freezing alkali/urea soaking, and alkaline pretreatment, were applied to textile waste with various cotton/polyester blending ratios. The best condition for enzymatic hydrolysis [...] Read more.
Textile waste usually ends up in landfills and causes environmental pollution. In this study, pretreatment methods for textile recycling, including autoclaving, freezing alkali/urea soaking, and alkaline pretreatment, were applied to textile waste with various cotton/polyester blending ratios. The best condition for enzymatic hydrolysis was a 60/40 textile waste blend of cotton/polyethylene terephthalate (PET) with a reusable chemical pretreatment (15% NaOH) at 121 °C for 15 min. The hydrolysis of pretreated textile waste by cellulase was optimized using response surface methodology (RSM) based on central composite design (CCD). The optimized conditions were 30 FPU/g of enzyme loading and 7% of substrate loading, which resulted in a maximum observed value of hydrolysis yield at 89.7%, corresponding to the predicted value of 87.8% after 96 h of incubation. The findings of this study suggest an optimistic solution for textile waste recycling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers from Renewable Sources and Their Applications II)
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12 pages, 2680 KiB  
Article
Hybrid Polylactic-Acid–Pectin Aerogels: Synthesis, Structural Properties, and Drug Release
by Gabrijela Horvat, Klara Žvab, Željko Knez and Zoran Novak
Polymers 2023, 15(2), 407; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15020407 - 12 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1667
Abstract
Wound-dressing materials often include other materials stimulating wound healing. This research describes the first formulation of biodegradable hybrid aerogels composed of polylactic acid and pectin. The prepared hybrid material showed a highly porous structure with a surface area of 166 ± 22.6 m [...] Read more.
Wound-dressing materials often include other materials stimulating wound healing. This research describes the first formulation of biodegradable hybrid aerogels composed of polylactic acid and pectin. The prepared hybrid material showed a highly porous structure with a surface area of 166 ± 22.6 m2·g−1. The addition of polylactic acid may have decreased the surface area of the pure pectin aerogel, but it improved the stability of the material in simulated body fluid (SBF). The pure pectin aerogel showed a high swelling and degradation ratio after 3 h. The addition of the polylactic acid prolonged its stability in the simulated body fluid from 24 h to more than one week, depending on the amount of polylactic acid. Biodegradable aerogels were loaded with indomethacin and diclofenac sodium as model drugs. The entrapment efficiencies were 63.4% and 62.6% for indomethacin and diclofenac sodium, respectively. Dissolution of both drugs was prolonged up to 2 days. Finally, sodium percarbonate and calcium peroxide were incorporated into the bioaerogels as chemical oxygen sources, to evaluate oxygen generation for potential wound healing applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers from Renewable Sources and Their Applications II)
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