Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Dairy Science

First Advisor

Srinivas Janaswamy


cassava peels, cellulose, corn stovers, crosslinking, starch, ZnCl2


Plastics are versatile and have desirable packaging characteristics such as flexibility, durability, and affordability. The production of plastics has increased over the years resulting in concerns about their single-usage and disposal. Since plastics are nonbiodegradable, they have been associated with detrimental health impacts due to the leaching chemicals from the landfills and their accumulation in the natural and marine environment. Cellulose obtained from agricultural residues is a viable substitute because of its low density, biocompatibility, biodegradability, low toxicity, and a strong and stiff structure. However, the extraction of cellulose has been less exploited because of its insolubility in water and common organic and inorganic solvents. The hypothesis is that cellulose is biodegradable and hence products such as cellulose films will be less toxic to the environment. The purpose of this study is to develop biodegradable films from cellulose extracted from corn stover and cassava peels. The cellulose films have been characterized by determining their physiochemical characteristics such as color, thickness, transparency, moisture content, water vapour permeability, tensile strength, and biodegradability. The physicochemical properties of films of binary mixture of starch (corn and potato) and microcrystalline cellulose have been carried out. The corn stover and cassava peels cellulose extracts (1-3% w/w) were solubilized in 68% w/w ZnCl2 and 20 μL of HNO3 was added for further dissolution and then thoroughly mixed overnight in a water bath at 85 ℃. The starch-cellulose films have been prepared by mixing 65% (w/v) of ZnCl2, 3% (w/v) of microcrystalline cellulose, 0.2-0.8% (w/v) of starch and 0.1% (w/v) crosslinking agent CaCl2.The films from extract of corn stover and cassava peels are brown in color while those from starch-cellulose blend are white. They are thin, homogeneous, and the opacity, thickness, moisture absorption, and tensile strength significantly depend on the source of starch, cellulose, and amount of crosslinking agent. The films disintegrate in the soil within 30 days. Overall, the cellulose-based films are a sustainable substitute for petroleum-based packages and an economical alternative to help reduce environmental contamination. The use of agricultural residues to develop biodegradable films will expand the utilization of agriculture by-products hence value-addition.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Plastic films.
Corn stover.
Biodegradable plastics
Plastics in packaging.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University

Included in

Food Science Commons



Rights Statement

In Copyright