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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.

Author information

1
Chemical Education Department, Universitas Syiah Kuala, Jln. Tgk. Daud Beureueh Darussalam Banda Aceh 23311, Indonesia. muhammadhasan.kimia@unsyiah.ac.id.
2
School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia. ecarborea929@gmail.com.
3
Food Biopolymer Research Group, Food Technology Division, School of Industrial Technology, University Sains Malaysia, 11800 Minden, Penang, Malaysia. shimajafar@yahoo.com.
4
Institute of Tropical Forestry and Forest Products (INTROP), Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43300 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia. parida.introp@gmail.com.
5
School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia. deepu1789@gmail.com.
6
School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia. azan@usm.my.
7
International and InterUniversity Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam-686560, Kerala, India. sabuthomas@mgu.ac.in.
8
School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia. akhalilhps@gmail.com.

Abstract

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.

KEYWORDS:

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

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