Biodegradable Films from the Lignocellulosic Residue of Switchgrass

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Plastics thrown out as trash are an everlasting threat to our biosphere and ecosystem. A sustainable remedy within our reach is the use of agricultural biomass. Herein, the lignocellulosic residue of switchgrass biomass, extracted using alkaline and bleaching treatments and solubilized in ZnCl2 solution followed by crosslinking with calcium ions, is used to develop biodegradable films. The films have been characterized for color, transparency, thickness, moisture, water solubility, water absorption, water vapor permeability, tensile strength, elongation, and soil biodegradation. Mathematical modeling of the water absorption and biodegradation behavior have also been studied. The films are transparent, possess high tensile strength and low water vapor permeability, and biodegrade completely within 40 days at 30% soil moisture. The tensile strength and whiteness of films increase with CaCl2 concentration, but elongation, water absorption, water solubility, water vapor permeability, and biodegradation decrease. Overall, the strong and biodegradable switchgrass residue-based films open up a new window of opportunities to design and develop reusable, recyclable, and compostable films from underutilized, inexpensive, and abundant agricultural biomass contributing to the circular bioeconomy in a friendly and sustainable manner.

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Resources, Conservation and Recycling





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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.