The concern with the amount of non-degradable plastic of fossil origin present on the planet has motivated the search for more sustainable alternatives. Chitosan, obtained from crustaceans, stands out as an option to produce biodegradable films. Because it has good biocompatibility, it is often associated with additives to improve its properties. Coming from citrus industry residues, limonene, the essential oil obtained from orange peel, is already widely used in industry, especially for its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. For being a cyclic terpene hydrocarbon, this oil drew the attention of the polymer industry to improve the properties of biodegradable films. However, due to its low molecular mass and high volatility, its performance is limited, and the polymerization of this essential oil presents itself as a possible solution. This project aims to study and compare the properties and advantages of using poly(limonene) concerning limonene, besides its interaction with chitosan and its industrial applications. To produce the test films, it is desired to find the ideal ratio between the materials for chitosan/poly(limonene) and chitosan/limonene films. It is expected that the blend of chitosan/poly
(limonene), as the latter is less volatile, preserves the properties of the limonene and improves the properties of the chitosan.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: