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International Journal of Polymer Science
Volume 2017, Article ID 9732329, 9 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/9732329
Research Article

Production of Pectin-Cellulose Biofilms: A New Approach for Citrus Waste Recycling

Swedish Centre for Resource Recovery, University of Borås, 50190 Borås, Sweden

Correspondence should be addressed to Veronika Bátori; es.bh@irotab.akinorev

Received 24 July 2017; Revised 23 September 2017; Accepted 28 September 2017; Published 29 October 2017

Academic Editor: Arthur J. Ragauskas

Copyright © 2017 Veronika Bátori et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

While citrus waste is abundantly generated, the disposal methods used today remain unsatisfactory: they can be deleterious for ruminants, can cause soil salinity, or are not economically feasible; yet citrus waste consists of various valuable polymers. This paper introduces a novel environmentally safe approach that utilizes citrus waste polymers as a biobased and biodegradable film, for example, for food packaging. Orange waste has been investigated for biofilm production, using the gelling ability of pectin and the strength of cellulosic fibres. A casting method was used to form a film from the previously washed, dried, and milled orange waste. Two film-drying methods, a laboratory oven and an incubator shaker, were compared. FE-SEM images confirmed a smoother film morphology when the incubator shaker was used for drying. The tensile strength of the films was 31.67 ± 4.21 and 34.76 ± 2.64 MPa, respectively, for the oven-dried and incubator-dried films, which is within the range of different commodity plastics. Additionally, biodegradability of the films was confirmed under anaerobic conditions. Films showed an opaque appearance with yellowish colour.