Fabrication of Cellulose Nanocrystal/Silver/Alginate Bionanocomposite Films with Enhanced Mechanical and Barrier Properties for Food Packaging Application
Eco-friendly cellulose nanocrystal/silver/alginate (CNC/Ag/Alg) bionanocomposite films were successfully prepared by blending of CNC with Ag/Alg solution. The CNC was fabricated from cellulose microcrystal (CMC) by acid hydrolysis method. The Ag nanoparticles (AgNPs) were generated by using Alg as a reducing agent through hydrothermal process. AgNPs-included composite films showed characteristic plasmonic effect of the AgNPs with the maximum absorption at 491 nm and they also showed high ultraviolet (UV) barrier properties. The CNC/Ag/Alg composite films were analyzed by using scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, optical microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction technique. Depending on the type of nanofillers, tensile strength of the composite films increased by 39&ndash;57% and water vapor permeation decreased by 17&ndash;36% compared with those of the neat Alg films. The Ag/Alg and CNC/Ag/Alg films showed brown color as detected from the increase of both &lsquo;b&rsquo; and &lsquo;a&rsquo; parameters by colorimeter. The UV and water barrier properties of Alg based composite films were found higher than the Alg films. The obtained results suggested that the prepared composite films can be used in food packaging applications.