Properties of Macroalgae Biopolymer Films Reinforcement with Polysaccharide Microfibre
Developing robust and biodegradable biopolymer films based on macroalgae is a challenging task because of its inadequate mechanical strength and poor moisture barrier attribute to its hydrophilic nature. A promising and sustainable approach to overcome this challenge is to reinforce the biopolymer film with polysaccharide microfibre (microcrystalline cellulose) derived from Gigantochloa levis bamboo (GL-MCC). Eucheuma cottonii macroalgae were used for the development of biopolymer films without further extraction and purification, which was considered economical and easy. The mechanical, water contact angle (WCA), water absorption capacity (WSC), and thermal behaviour of macroalgae-based biopolymer films revealed that the inclusions of GL-MCC significantly enhanced the durability, moisture barrier, and thermal stability of the biopolymer films. The enhancement is ascribed to the interaction between macroalgae and GL-MCC due to high compatibility. Moreover, the incorporation of GL-MCC successfully increased the rigidity of the macroalgae-based biopolymer films against microorganism and moisture attack, but remain biodegradable and environmental-friendly. The developed biodegradable macroalgae/GL-MCC biopolymer films can potentially be used as packaging materials.