Biocomposites reinforced with cellulose nanocrystals derived from potato peel waste
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This study investigated the effectiveness of cellulose nanocrystals derived from potato peel waste as a reinforcement and vapor barrier additive. The nanocrystals were derived from cellulosic material in the potato peel by alkali treatment and subsequently acid hydrolysis. TEM images revealed the average fiber length of the nanocrystals was 410 nm with an aspect ratio of 41; its aspect ratio being considerably larger than cotton-derived nanocrystals prepared using similar reaction conditions. Cellulose nanocrystals (CNC)-filled polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and thermoplastic starch (TPS) films were prepared by solution casting method to maintain uniform dispersion of the 1-2% (w/w) filler content. An increase of 19% and 33% (starch composite) and 38% and 49% (PVA composite) in tensile modulus was observed for the 1% and 2% CNC-reinforced composites, respectively. Water vapor transmission measurements showed a marginal reduction of water permeability for the PVA composite, whereas no effect was observed for the thermoplastic starch composite.
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