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Layer-by-layer assembly of sustainable lignin-based coatings for food packaging applications
KTH Royal institute of Technology, Sweden.
KTH Royal institute of Technology, Sweden.
KTH Royal institute of Technology, Sweden.
KTH Royal institute of Technology, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0999-6671
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2023 (English)In: Progress in organic coatings, ISSN 0300-9440, E-ISSN 1873-331X, Vol. 182, article id 107676Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Packaging plays a critical role in ensuring food safety and shelf life by protecting against e.g., moisture, gases, and light. Polyethylene (PE) is widely used in food packaging, but it is mainly produced from non-renewable resources and it is an inefficient oxygen and light barrier. In this study, the layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly of a sustainably produced lignin-based polymer (EH) with polyethylenimine (PEI) or chitosan (CH) was used to fabricate (partially or fully) bio-based coatings with the aim of improving barrier properties of PE films. The charge density of EH was calculated using a polyelectrolyte titration method and the hydrodynamic diameters of EH, PEI and CH were determined by Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS). LbL assembly was monitored in situ via Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation (QCM-D) and Stagnation Point Adsorption Reflectometry (SPAR). PE films were coated with a variable number of PEI/EH or CH/EH bilayers (BL) using an immersive LbL assembly method. Coated films were studied in terms of light-blocking ability, wettability, thermal behaviour, surface structure, as well as oxygen and water vapor barrier properties. QCM-D and SPAR data showed a stepwise multilayer formation and strong interactions between the oppositely charged polymers, with PEI/EH coating having a greater amount of deposited polymer compared to CH/EH coating at the same number of BL. Overall, light barrier properties and wettability of the coated films increased with the number of deposited bilayers. Coated PE films maintained the overall thermal behaviour of PE. A number of BL of 20 was found to be the most promising based on the studied properties. Selected samples showed improved oxygen and water vapor barrier properties, with PEI/EH coating performing better than CH/EH coating. Taken altogether, we demonstrated that a novel and sustainable lignin-based polymer can be combined with PEI or CH to fabricate (partially or fully) bio-based coatings for food packaging. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier B.V. , 2023. Vol. 182, article id 107676
Keywords [en]
Multilayers; Oxygen; Packaging Machines; Polyelectrolytes; Surface Structure; Dynamic light scattering; Multilayer films; Multilayers; Oxygen; Packaging; Packaging machines; Plastic coatings; Polyelectrolytes; Polyethylenes; Polymer films; Quartz crystal microbalances; Surface structure; Water vapor; Wetting; Barrier properties; Bi-layer; Bio-based; Bio-based food packaging; Food packaging; Layer-by-layer assemblies; Lignin-hemicellulose polymer; Poly(ethylenimine); Polyethylene film; Quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation; Chitosan
National Category
Polymer Technologies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-68582DOI: 10.1016/j.porgcoat.2023.107676Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85160674986OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-68582DiVA, id: diva2:1819260
Note

The research leading to these results was financially supported by NordForsk, within the Nordic Green Growth Research and Innovation Program (project name: “High-Value Products form Lignin”).The authors thank Ecohelix AB for providing the lignin-based polymer and Prof. Lars Wågberg from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH, Sweden) for his help on the interpretation of the QCM-D and SPAR data, as well as for providing the access to some equipment of his laboratory. Nicola Giummarella is thanked for performing UV-VIS spectroscopy experiments of EH, PEI and CH solutions. The authors also thank Taina Ohra-aho and Marc Borrega from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland for providing access to equipment and support in the analysis of film barrier properties, as well as Liisa Änäkäinen from the same institution for her participation in the film thickness measurements and confocal microscopy. The research leading to these results was financially supported by NordForsk, within the Nordic Green Growth Research and Innovation Program (project name: “High-Value Products form Lignin”).

Available from: 2023-12-13 Created: 2023-12-13 Last updated: 2023-12-14Bibliographically approved

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Reid, Michael S.

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