Synthesis of biodegradable cellulose-chitin polymer film using recycled N,Ndimethylacetamide
Keywords:Solvent recovery, Biodegradable polymer film, Cellulose, Chitin
AbstractThe current laboratory-scale synthesis of chitin-based bioplastics involves the immediate disposal of lithium chloride/N,N-dimethylacetamide (LiCl/DMAc) solvent after use, making the process wasteful, harmful to the environment and expensive. In this study, DMAc was recovered via conventional distillation of liquid waste solvent from previous chitin-based plastic syntheses. The effectivity of the recovery process was confirmed through FTIR analysis and pH measurements. The recovered DMAc was then used in the dissolution of commercially-available chitin and chitin extracted chitin from the shell of Portunuspelagicus to successfully synthesize 80:20 wt% cellulose-chitin blend films. Tensile tests following the ASTM D882-10, UTM tensile testing results showed that the films synthesized using extracted chitin have higher tensile strength than those synthesized using commercial chitin. Analysis of variance showed that the source of DMAc i.e. (fresh or recovered), is not a significant factor affecting the UTS tensile strength of the films. SEM images also showed that the surface morphology of the films synthesized using extracted chitin and recovered DMAc is similar to the one synthesized using extracted chitin and fresh DMAc. The comparable properties of films produced using fresh and recovered DMAc indicate that solvent recovery of DMAc is indeed a viable step in the greener production of biodegradable cellulose-chitin polymer film.
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