Bacterial cellulose for increasing barrier properties of paper products
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Bacterial cellulose was combined with wood cellulose papers in order to obtain biomaterials with increased barrier properties. For this purpose, different parameters were assessed: two producing bacterial strains (Komagataeibacter xylinus and Gluconacetobacter sucrofermentans), two paper supports to hold bacterial cellulose (filter paper and eucalyptus paper), two kinds of combined biomaterials (composite and bilayer) and two drying temperatures (90 °C and room temperature). Papers with increased barrier properties (100° of water contact angle, 1220 s of water drop test and air permeability < 1 µm (Pa s)−1) were obtained by the addition of bacterial cellulose to each paper support. However, due to the lower initial barrier properties of filter paper, higher improvements were produced with this paper. In addition, bacterial cellulose provided smoother surfaces with higher gloss without a detrimental effect on physical properties. Higher resistance to water absorption was obtained with K. xylinus possibly explained by its longer size fibers than G. sucrofermentans, as analysed by SEM. Smoothness and gloss were specially increased in the bilayer biomaterial although resistance to air and water were further improved in the composite. In this biomaterial drying at high temperature had a detrimental effect. SEM analysis of the products obtained showed the intimate contact among fibers of bacterial cellulose and wood paper. Results obtained show the contribution of bacterial cellulose to improve the properties of paper and its potential for the design of new added value paper products from biomass.
KeywordsBacterial cellulose Barrier properties Hydrophobicity Air permeability Water resistance Cellulose paper
The authors thank the ‘‘Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad’’ of Spain for their support in this work under the projects FILMBIOCEL CTQ2016-77936-R (funding also from the ‘‘Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional FEDER’’), BIOPAPµFLUID (CTQ2013-48995-C2-1-R and CTQ2013-48995-C2-2-R) and MICROBIOCEL (CTQ2017-84966-C2-1-R and CTQ2017-84966-C2-2-R). The authors are grateful to the consolidated research UPC - UB group AGAUR 2017 SGR 30 and to the Serra Húnter Fellow to Cristina Valls. The experiments described in this article have been performed complying with the Spanish current laws.
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