Assessment of Biodegradable Blends of Poly(Vinyl Alcohol) and Chitosan for Food Industry and Biomedical Application

Due to the presence of two types of reactive primary and secondary hydroxyl groups, chitosan (CS), an amino polysaccharide, is a stiff polymer (-OH). It is also a biodegradable, biocompatible, non-toxic, safe, and antibacterial polymer, making it suitable for use in the food and biomedical industries. As a result, biodegradable films based on poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and chitosan (CS) are being developed for usage in food packaging and biomedical applications. The goal of this research is to create a low-cost biodegradable PVA/CS film using a solution casting process with glutaraldehyde as the cross linking agent. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and microhardness techniques were used to investigate the intermolecular interactions between constituents of polymer blends and mechanical properties. The degrading characteristics of PVA/CS films were investigated using composting. PVA and PVA/CS mixes had different absorption bands in their FTIR spectra, showing interactions between the blend’s components. The marten hardness (HM) value changed from 83.08 MPa in pure PVA to 142.18 MPa (maximum value) with chitosan component of 40% wt. Chitosan boosted the mechanical stiffness of PVA/CS blends by up to 40%, and the optimal combination for the maximum improvement in mechanical properties was determined. This is because blending causes an intermolecular connection between two polymers, which improves the blends’ mechanical strength. As the amount of chitosan in the mix rose, the rate of degradation increased.

Author(S) Details

Shanta Pokhrel
Department of Chemistry, Tri-Chandra Multiple Campus, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Rameshwar Adhikari
Research Centre for Applied Science and Technology (RECAST), Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Paras Nath Yadav
Central Department of Chemistry, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal.

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