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Solution blow casting: a new strategy for the production of multilayer biopolymer-based materials

Grant number: 19/26577-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2020
Effective date (End): August 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Principal researcher:Luiz Henrique Capparelli Mattoso
Grantee:Giuliana Thalina Franco
Home Institution: Embrapa Instrumentação Agropecuária. Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (EMBRAPA). Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento (Brasil). São Carlos , SP, Brazil

Abstract

In line with the growing demand for sustainable strategies to minimize the environmental impacts caused by the accumulation of non-biodegradable waste, biopolymers stand out as feasible alternatives to substitute, at least partially, the conventional plastics. However, the essential properties of both classes are to be compatible. In this context, we propose the elaboration of multilayer biopolymer materials through the pioneer merge of key concepts of the contemporary processing techniques called continuous solvent evaporation (or continuous casting) and Solution Blow Spinning (SBS). Because these techniques involve the processing of macromolecules in solution, special emphasis will be given to the physicochemical and colloidal aspects of such systems prior to drying. the main objective is the innovative conformation of multilayer materials comprising both thin film and fibrous mats, each of these with its particularities and functions, which are envisaged to be combined in the final material. It is expected that this research will lead to the serial coupling of the aforementioned techniques into a novel process - here named solution blow casting -, that targets materials with optimized performance and productivity. To illustrate one of the focuses of this research, the production of a thin sealing layer between two or more biopolymer films will be studied as a means of expanding their commercial potential. The produced materials will be extensively characterized according to their characteristics of interest for different uses, all the way from generic properties (e.g., mechanical, barrier, thermal, morphological and structural), culminating in those required in advanced applications. (AU)