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Development of biodegradable cellulose nanofibrils reinforced pectin films by continuous casting

Grant number: 16/20806-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2016
Effective date (End): November 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Principal Investigator:Luiz Henrique Capparelli Mattoso
Grantee:Caio Moreira Ferreira
Host Institution: Embrapa Instrumentação Agropecuária. Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (EMBRAPA). Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento (Brasil). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Sustainability promotion and environmental protection in Brazil have intensified the urgency about the use of biodegradable plastics as disposable products. Pectin, a natural polymer derived from sugarcane and citrus processing at São Paulo state, has potential as a feedstock for biodegradable plastics development. However, applications of pectin are limited because its physical properties are generally inferior to those of the commercial plastics. This project aims to develop biodegradable films from pectin and cellulose nanofibrils. The main hypothesis enclosed in this proposal is that the inclusion of cellulosic nanostructures will expand the properties of pectin. Commercial cellulose nanofibrils will be characterized in terms of morphology and size, and further incorporated into pectin matrixes using continuous casting, an emerging polymer processing technique at pilot scale. Different concentrations of cellulose nanofibrils (1-5%), plasticizing, and process conditions will be evaluated. The pectin/cellulose nanofibrils nanocomposites will be studied by electron microscopy techniques, thermal, mechanical and optical analysis, among others. Correlations between dimensions and dispersion state of the nanofibrils and nanocomposite properties will be described. Properties of nanocomposites and commercial plastics will be compared through Ashby charts. (AU)

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