Poly(lactic acid)/lignin films with enhanced toughness and anti-oxidation performance for active food packaging.

Affiliation

Beijing Key Laboratory of Quality Evaluation Technology for Hygiene and Safety of Plastics, Beijing Technology and Business University, Beijing 100048, China. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

In this study, grafting of star-like lignin microparticles (LMP) onto PLA (LMP-g-PLA) was successfully realized by ring open polymerization of l-lactide, initiating from the hydroxyl groups on LMP surface. After that, various amount of LMP-g-PLA were melt blended with neat PLA and ethylene-vinyl acetate-glycidyl methacrylate (NPG) to prepare different PLA composites films, by exploiting the interfacial reactions between epoxy groups of NPG and carboxyl and hydroxyl groups of both LMP-g-PLA and PLA. Mechanical test results show that the addition of LMP-g-PLA made a significant contribution to the toughness of PLA/NPG blend, as the elongation at break increased up to 236% in PLA/NPG/1LMP sample. Although the addition of NPG and LMP-g-PLA hindered the crystallization capacity of PLA, good dispersion of LMP-g-PLA and compatibility between LMP and PLA acted as longer tortuous paths, consequently reducing the water vapor transmission rate. Meanwhile, the UV-Vis spectroscopy results showed that PLA/NPG/LMP films have excellent UV resistance behaviour without sacrificing too much the transparency. Results from overall migration tests and testing of anti-oxidant behaviour demonstrated that PLA films blended with NPG and lignin can be used as competitive materials in active food packaging industry.

Keywords

Anti-oxidation,Food packaging,Lignin,Poly(lactic acid),Toughness,

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