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Influence of silver nanoparticles on mechanical, thermal and antibacterial properties of poly (vinyl alcohol)/rice hull powder hybrid biocomposite films

Earth produces 2.12 billion tons of total wastes annually and nearly 2 million tons of petroleum?based synthetic polymers each day. The majority of synthetic polymers were obtained by packaging applications. Biodegradable films(biofilms) can be a good alternative for pollution?creating synthetic polymers. Rice hull powder (RHP) as reinforcing fillers, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) as matrix along with silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were used to prepare the biofilms. By using the solution casting method, five samples of PVA/RHP (1–5 mM) AgNPs biofilms were fabricated and characterized using Fourier transform infrared (FT?IR), X?Ray Diffraction Analysis (XRD), field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM), Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry beyond testing for their mechanical and antibacterial activities. The small spherical shape elements in the FESEM images clarify the presence of AgNPs. The intensities of observed peaks in the FT?IR spectrum keep decreasing with the inclusion of AgNPs. The X?ray diffractogram confirms the strong peaks at 2? = 38.2°, 49.1°, 60.8°, & 78.3° due to the presence of the AgNPs. The tensile strength and tensile modulus reached a maximum value of 35.5 and 871 MPa respectively. The presence of heat?stable metallic silver made the biofilms thermally stable up to 371°C and also improved the antibacterial activity exhibited by a better inhibition zone. The improved results clarified that biofilms can be suggested for packaging applications.

Publication date: 19/03/2022

Polymer Composites


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.