Lignin Redistribution for Enhancing Barrier Properties of Cellulose-Based Materials
Renewable cellulose-based materials have gained increasing interest in food packaging because of its favorable biodegradability and biocompatibility, whereas the barrier properties of hydrophilic and porous fibers are inadequate for most applications. Exploration of lignin redistribution for enhancing barrier properties of paper packaging material was carried out in this work. The redistribution of nanolized alkali lignin on paper surface showed excellent water, grease, and water vapor barrier. It provided persisted water (contact angle decrease rate at 0.05&deg;/s) and grease (stained area undetectable at 72 h) resistance under long-term moisture or oil direct contact conditions, which also inhibited the bacterial growth to certain degree. Tough water vapor transmission rate can be lowered 82% from 528 to 97 g/m2/d by lignin redistribution. The result suggests that alkali lignin, with multiple barrier properties, has great potential in bio-based application considering the biodegradability, biocompatibility, and recyclability.