Enhanced Functional Properties of Bioplastic Films Using Lignin Nanoparticles from Oil Palm-Processing Residue
The development of bioplastic materials that are biobased and/or degradable is commonly presented as an alleviating alternative, offering sustainable and eco-friendly properties over conventional petroleum-derived plastics. However, the hydrophobicity, water barrier, and antimicrobial properties of bioplastics have hindered their utilization in packaging applications. In this study, lignin nanoparticles (LNPs) with a purification process were used in different loadings as enhancements in a Kappaphycus alvarezii matrix to reduce the hydrophilic nature and improve antibacterial properties of the matrix and compared with unpurified LNPs. The influence of the incorporation of LNPs on functional properties of bioplastic films, such as morphology, surface roughness, structure, hydrophobicity, water barrier, antimicrobial, and biodegradability, was studied and found to be remarkably enhanced. Bioplastic film containing 5% purified LNPs showed the optimum enhancement in almost all of the ultimate performances. The enhancement is related to strong interfacial interaction between the LNPs and matrix, resulting in high compatibility of films. Bioplastic films could have additional advantages and provide breakthroughs in packaging materials for a wide range of applications.