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Polymers (Basel). 2019 Jan 26;11(2). pii: E210. doi: 10.3390/polym11020210.

Enhancement in the Physico-Mechanical Functions of Seaweed Biopolymer Film via Embedding Fillers for Plasticulture Application-A Comparison with Conventional Biodegradable Mulch Film.

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Chemical Education Department, Universitas Syiah Kuala, Jln. Tgk. Daud Beureueh Darussalam Banda Aceh 23311, Indonesia.
School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia.
Food Biopolymer Research Group, Food Technology Division, School of Industrial Technology, University Sains Malaysia, 11800 Minden, Penang, Malaysia.
Institute of Tropical Forestry and Forest Products (INTROP), Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43300 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.
School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia.
School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia.
International and InterUniversity Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam-686560, Kerala, India.
School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia.


This study aimed to compare the performance of fabricated microbially induced precipitated calcium carbonate⁻ (MB⁻CaCO₃) based red seaweed (Kappaphycus alvarezii) bio-polymer film and commercial calcium carbonate⁻ (C⁻CaCO₃) based red seaweed bio-film with the conventional biodegradable mulch film. To the best of our knowledge, there has been limited research on the application of commercial CaCO₃ (C⁻CaCO₃) and microbially induced CaCO₃ (MB⁻CaCO₃) as fillers for the preparation of films from seaweed bio-polymer and comparison with biodegradable commercial plasticulture packaging. The results revealed that the mechanical, contact angle, and biodegradability properties of the polymer composite films incorporated with C⁻CaCO₃ and MB⁻CaCO₃ fillers were comparable or even superior than the conventional biodegradable mulch film. The seaweed polymer film incorporated with MB⁻CaCO₃ showed the highest contact angle of 100.94°, whereas conventional biodegradable mulch film showed a contact angle of 90.25°. The enhanced contact angle of MB⁻CaCO₃ resulted in high barrier properties, which is highly desired in the current scenario for plasticulture packaging application. The water vapor permeability of MB⁻CaCO₃ based seaweed films was low (2.05 ± 1.06 g·m/m²·s·Pa) when compared to conventional mulch film (2.68 ± 0.35 g·m/m²·s·Pa), which makes the fabricated film an ideal candidate for plasticulture application. The highest tensile strength (TS) was achieved by seaweed-based film filled with commercial CaCO₃ (84.92% higher than conventional mulch film). SEM images of the fractured surfaces of the fabricated films revealed the strong interaction between seaweed and fillers. Furthermore, composite films incorporated with MB⁻CaCO₃ promote brighter film, better water barrier, hydrophobicity, and biodegradability compared to C⁻CaCO₃ based seaweed polymer film and conventional mulch film. From this demonstrated work, it can be concluded that the fabricated MB⁻CaCO₃ based seaweed biopolymer film will be a promising candidate for plasticulture and agricultural application.


bio-degradable polymer film; calcium carbonate; conventional film; plasticulture application; seaweed polymer

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