Volume 45, Issue 7 p. 5853-5869
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Hydrophobicity and mechanical properties of purified lignin nanoparticles reinforced marine-derived biopolymer composites

Tata Alfatah

Tata Alfatah

Bioresource Technology Division, School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia

Environment and Forestry Office of the Provincial Government of Aceh, Banda Aceh, Indonesia

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Indra Surya

Corresponding Author

Indra Surya

Department of Chemical Engineering, Universitas Sumatera Utara, Medan, Indonesia

Correspondence

Indra Surya, Department of Chemical Engineering, Universitas Sumatera Utara, Medan 20155, Indonesia.

Email: [email protected]

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Abdul Khalil H.P.S.

Abdul Khalil H.P.S.

Bioresource Technology Division, School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia

Green Biopolymer, Coatings and Packaging Cluster, School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia

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Salim Manoharadas

Salim Manoharadas

Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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Mohamed Jaber

Mohamed Jaber

Department of Mathematical Science, College of Engineering and Science, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida, USA

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C.K. Abdullah

C.K. Abdullah

Bioresource Technology Division, School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia

Green Biopolymer, Coatings and Packaging Cluster, School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia

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Eka Marya Mistar

Eka Marya Mistar

Bioresource Technology Division, School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia

Department of Chemical Engineering, Universitas Serambi Mekkah, Banda Aceh, Indonesia

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Owolabi F.A.T.

Owolabi F.A.T.

Bioresource Technology Division, School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia

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Esam Bashir Yahya

Esam Bashir Yahya

Green Biopolymer, Coatings and Packaging Cluster, School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia

Bioprocess Technology Division, School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia

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First published: 01 February 2024

Abstract

Lignin has been considered the main aromatic renewable biopolymer. Besides its availability in large quantities as a major and low-cost side product of several industries as a polysaccharide component of lignocellulosic biomass for industrial applications, it remains underutilized and as such, lignin valorization is highly desirable. This study was focused on the fabrication, purification, and characterization of lignin nanoparticles (LNPs) from black liquor of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) empty fruit bunch (EFB). The functional properties of the LNPs investigated include the morphology, particle size, zeta potential distribution, elemental composition, functional groups, and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS). The purified LNPs provided smaller particle sizes ranging from 32 to 62 nm while the unpurified sample sizes range between 53 and 88 nm. The zeta potential value of purified LNPs displays relatively good stability to the unpurified LNPs despite the consistency in their particle size spreading as observed from the TEM micrograph. The results of the GC–MS analysis signify that the purification procedure affects the compounds in the LNPs. The kappa-carrageenan (KC) biopolymers reinforced with purified LNPs provided more organized surfaces than the biopolymers reinforced with unpurified LNPs, leading to enhanced hydrophobicity and mechanical properties of the bionanocomposites. This study shows the potential applications of valorized lignin from oil palm residue as a reinforcement agent in renewable packaging.

Highlights

  • Lignin nanoparticles (LNPs) were yielded from empty fruit bunch black liquor.
  • Syringyl to guaiacyl ratio of LNPs was increased from 0.83 to 1.26.
  • Biopolymers were prepared by incorporating LNPs into the kappa-carrageenan.
  • Biopolymer with 4% purified LNPs had an optimum contact angle of 106.83°.
  • The optimized biopolymer showed an optimum tensile strength of 38.42 MPa.

DATA AVAILABILITY STATEMENT

Data sharing is not applicable to this article as no new data were created or analyzed in this study.