Technological watch

Direct and complete utilization of agricultural straw to fabricate all-biomass films with high-strength, high-haze and UV-shielding properties

It is of vital significance to fabricate high-value-added materials from agricultural wastes by environmentally friendly and cost-effective processes. In this work, we propose an approach to directly and completely convert agricultural straw into multifunctional all-biomass films by introducing an entanglement network of additional cellulose to enhance the strength of the regenerated straw. First, natural wheat straw is dissolved in the ionic liquid 1-allyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride (AmimCl). Then, a small amount of cellulose with a high degree of polymerization (DP) is introduced to obtain straw/cellulose/AmimCl solutions, which are subsequently soaked in water for biomass regeneration, washed and dried to obtain straw/cellulose films. Dynamic shear rheological test confirms that after adding high-DP cellulose, an enhanced entanglement network forms in the solutions, which is essential to the processing and mechanical properties of materials. Extensional rheological test indicates that straw/cellulose/AmimCl solutions exhibit excellent spinnability and film-forming properties based on a significant increase in the capillary break-up time. Therefore, after regeneration in water, straw-based all-biomass films with high mechanical strength are obtained. When the content of additional wood pulp (WP, DP?=?1300) with respect to total solids is 25?wt%, the obtained straw/WP all-biomass film reaches a tensile strength of 62?MPa. More interestingly, because there is no intentional chemical pretreatment and compositional isolation involved in this process, almost all of the components in straw, such as cellulose, lignin, hemicellulose and inorganic compounds, are retained in the final films. Thus, the resultant films have a superhigh haze of 97 % while preventing 97 % UVA (320-400?nm) and almost 100 % UVB (280-320?nm). In sum, we demonstrate the complete and value-added utilization of low-grade bioresources by a facile, green and economical process to fabricate high-strength, high-haze and UV-shielding all-biomass films, which have great potential in low-cost, biodegradable and environmentally friendly packaging.

Publication date: 05/07/2019

Author: Jinyang Li, Xiaocheng Zhang, Jinming Zhang, Qinyong Mi, Fengwei Jia, Jin Wu, Jian Yu, Jun Zhang

Reference: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2019.115057

Carbohydrate Polymers


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.