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Influence of preparation techniques of cellulose II nanocrystals as reinforcement for tannery solid waste–based gelatin composite films

Tannery waste–based gelatin composite film reinforced with cellulose II nanocrystal (CNC II) extracted from wet wipes using three different hydrolysis techniques is explored for its functional properties and possible utilization as a biodegradable packaging material. CNC II isolated using hydrogen peroxide (PCNC), citric acid (CCNC), and hydrochloric acid (HCNC) differed in morphological and crystalline character as investigated using DLS, FE-SEM, FTIR, and XRD analysis. The crystallinity of PCNC, CCNC, and HCNC was found to be 81.1%, 75.4%, and 86.1%, respectively. The highly crystalline CNC II (PCNC) incorporation improved mechanical stiffness of rawhide trimming waste–based gelatin films by 50% compared to control gelatin film. Maximum thermal decomposition with Tmax of 329 °C was obtained for gelatin films with PCNC nano-reinforcement. Films with CNC II were structurally stable and sufficiently antibacterial against Gram-positive S. aureus microbial strain. Strong interfacial non-covalent and hydrogen bonding interactions between gelatin and cellulose II nanocrystal have likely enhanced the properties of the composite films. Incorporation of CNC II reduced the surface wettability of the films and nanocomposites absorbed UV radiation as evidenced by transmittance value T280 of 0.19%. Nanocomposite films degraded up to 79.9% of initial mass within 7 days of soil burial. Furthermore, based on the optimized system, single-use packaging application of eggplant seeds has been demonstrated.

Graphical abstract


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.