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Lichen Beta-Glucan, a versatile and promising biopolymer for the development of biodegradable films

Abstract

Sustainability, eco-efficiency, circularity, and green chemistry have been driving the development of the next generation of materials, products, and processes. Biodegradable films and biopolymers based on renewable biomass can form the basis for creating sustainable and eco-efficient products capable of competing and capturing the market currently dominated by petroleum raw materials. The use of polysaccharides as biodegradable materials has steadily increased over the past decade due to their applications in pharmaceuticals, biomedical use, foods, and cosmetics. The central motivation of this work is the development of new biopolymeric films based on the b-glucan polysaccharide, chemically extracted from the Usnea sp. lichen species, as well as exploring the versatility of this biopolymer to evaluate its applicability as films for food packaging. So that the analysis of its physical, mechanical, and chemical properties can be correlated with its performance in innovative plastic systems. Another topic is the use of natural deep eutectic solvents as plasticizing agents for polymeric films since the use of natural and biodegradable plasticizers, with low toxicity and good compatibility with various plastics, resins, and rubbers, has received attention along with the growing world demand for replacement of conventional plasticizers. (AU)

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