Circular Packaging Products from Polysaccharides

There is a strong drive to discover and develop alternatives to conventional plastics that offer the ability to be manufactured and used in a circular manner. In a circular economy, as opposed to a linear one, materials are derived from renewable resources or recycled content, and at the end of life, they are able to be circulated back into production via a chemical, physical or biological pathway. A critical need exists to develop such materials for plastic packaging, which represents the largest contributor to unrecyclable or difficult-to-recycle plastic waste. This talk describes innovations in production of barrier films and coatings suitable for food or pharmaceutical packaging, based on combinations of cellulose- and chitin-based nanomaterials.  Cellulose nanocrystals, CNCs, and chitin nanofibers or nanocrystals (ChNFs, ChNCs), are oppositely-charged, water-dispersible fibers that could form the basis of a platform of renewable, high-performance materials. Challenges to industrial implementation and approaches to overcome these will also be analyzed.  In addition, this talk will review several other projects ongoing at the Georgia Tech Renewable Bioproducts Institute in the area of circular approaches to packaging based on biomass-derived materials.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Knowledge
  • Identify challenges and constraints in current flexible barrier packaging
  • Recognize the opportunity available for utilizing cellulose and chitin-derived biomass nanofibers/crystals for barrier packaging
  • Identify challenges in manufacturing barrier flexible packaging from biomass
  • Comprehension
  • Explain why cellulose and chitin charge and length affect formation of barrier structions
  • Explain basic structure-property relationships between cellulose and chiftin processing, film deposition conditions and barrier properties

Who should watch:

Researchers, Academia with interest in Nanotechnology

Inside this Section