Indexed on: 08 Jun '14Published on: 08 Jun '14Published in: Carbohydrate Polymers
Crystallized nanocellulose (CNC) was separated from paper-mulberry (Broussonetia kazinoki Siebold) bast pulp by sulfuric acid hydrolysis method and they were blended with agar to prepare bionanocomposite films. The effect of CNC content (1, 3, 5 and 10 wt% based on agar) on the mechanical, water vapor permeability (WVP), and thermal properties of the nanocomposites were studied. Changes of the cellulose fibers in structure, morphology, crystallinity, and thermal properties of the films were evaluated using FT-IR, TEM, SEM, XRD, and TGA analysis methods. The CNC was composed of fibrous and spherical or elliptic granules of nano-cellulose with sizes of 50-60 nm. Properties of agar film such as mechanical and water vapor barrier properties were improved significantly (p<0.05) by blending with the CNC. The tensile modulus and tensile strength of agar film increased by 40% and 25%, respectively, in the composite film with 5 wt% of CNC, and the WVP of agar film decreased by 25% after formation of nanocomposite with 3 wt% of CNC. The CNC obtained from the paper-mulberry bast pulp can be used as a reinforcing agent for the preparation of bio-nanocomposites, and they have a high potential for the development of completely biodegradable food packaging materials.