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Faculty of Biology, Chemistry & Earth Sciences

Macromolecular Chemistry II – Prof. Dr. Andreas Greiner (Macromolecular Chemistry & Technology) & Prof. Dr. Seema Agarwal (Advanced Sustainable Polymers)

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Tree Gum–Graphene Oxide Nanocomposite Films as Gas Barriers


Venkateshaiah, Abhilash ; Cheong, Jun Young ; Habel, Christoph ; Wacławek, Stanislaw ; Lederer, Tomáš ; Černík, Miroslav ; Kim, Il-Doo ; Padil, Vinod V. T. ; Agarwal, Seema
ACS Applied Nano Materials. Bd. 3 (2020) https://doi.org/10.1021/acsanm.9b02166

To reduce the dependency on petro-based conventional plastics, research focusing on bioplastics derived from biological origin has gained precedence. Herein, we report an ecofriendly and a facile synthetic route to develop a freestanding nanocomposite film prepared from the combination of nonedible biodegradable tree gum waste and graphene oxide (GO). Three variants of bionanocomposite films such as GO–gum arabic (GA–GO), GO–gum karaya (GK–GO), and GO–kondagogu gum (KG–GO) were fabricated via solution casting of respective gums with GO (0.5% and 1.0%) in an aqueous environment. GO was thoroughly blended within different types of gum matrices via the hydrogen bond interaction and electrostatic attraction, thus forming interconnected homogeneous GO–gum layered structure. Morphological analysis revealed a natural nacre-like structure comprised of gum-intercalated graphene sheets, which was further confirmed by X-ray diffraction studies. The addition of GO further transformed the brittle gum film into a freestanding film with substantial mechanical strength. Furthermore, the layered nanocomposite films demonstrated enhanced oxygen gas barrier property as well as reduced water vapor transmittance. The barrier properties are comparable to the plastics traditionally used in packaging, emphasizing the potential of tree gums nanocomposite films in packaging applications. Such frugally viable gums can be a cost-effective alternative in the development of nanocomposite films that could be readily used for applications in food packaging, pharmaceutical, and various biomedical industries.

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