Transparent Ultraviolet (UV)-Shielding Films Made from Waste Hemp Hurd and Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA)
Date of publication 29 June 2020
Authors Zhang, Yi; Remadevi, Rechana; Hinestroza, Juan P.; Wang, Xungai; Naebe, Maryam.
Sources Polymers : 12 (DocId: 5)
This work proposes a new approach to fabricate highly transparent and flexible composite films that exhibit enhanced UV-shielding properties. Lignin has innate UV-shielding properties. However, when purified lignin, which is conventionally extracted through chemical treatment, is mixed with polymeric materials, its presence negatively influences the transparency of the resulting composite. High transparency and UV-shielding are desirable properties for many applications. In this study, composites were made by mixing lignocellulose particles and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), where lignocellulose particles were obtained from ball-milled waste hemp hurd without chemical treatments. The UV-shielding properties of the resulting composite film, as a function of hemp/PVA weight ratios, were investigated. The intermolecular interactions between the hemp particles and the PVA were characterized using infrared spectroscopy with the presence of -C=O group at 1655 cm-1, providing evidence that the chemical structure of lignin was preserved. The fabricated hemp/PVA films exhibit stronger UV-shielding, in the UVA-I range (340-400 nm) than TiO2/PVA films. The composite films also showed comparable water vapor permeability (WVP) with commercial packaging plastic film made of HDPE (high-density polyethylene). The optimization experiments were reported, with aim at understanding the balance between the UV-shielding and mechanical properties of the hemp/PVA films. The findings of this work can be applicable to the packaging, food and cosmetic industries where UV shielding is of utmost importance, hence adding value to hemp hurd waste.