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Kraft lignin/tannin as a potential accelerator of antioxidant and antibacterial properties in an active thermoplastic polyester-based multifunctional material
Klementina Pušnik Črešnar, Alexandra Zamboulis, Dimitrios Bikiaris, Alexandra Aulova, Lidija Fras Zemljič, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: This research focuses on key priorities in the field of sustainable plastic composites that will lead to a reduction in CO2 pollution and support the EU’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. The main challenge is to develop high-performance polyphenol-reinforced thermoplastic composites, where the use of natural fillers replaces the usual chemical additives with non-toxic ones, not only to improve the final performance but also to increase the desired multifunctionalities (structural, antioxidant, and antibacterial). Therefore, poly (lactic acid) (PLA) composites based on Kraft lignin (KL) and tannin (TANN) were investigated. Two series of PLA composites, PLA-KL and PLA-TANN, which contained natural fillers (0.5%, 1.0%, and 2.5% (w/w)) were prepared by hot melt extrusion. The effects of KL and TANN on the PLA matrices were investigated, especially the surface physicochemical properties, mechanical properties, and antioxidant/antimicrobial activity. The surface physicochemical properties were evaluated by measuring the contact angle (CA), roughness, zeta potential, and nanoindentation. The results of the water contact angle showed that neither KL nor TANN caused a significant change in the wettability, but only a slight increase in the hydrophilicity of the PLA composites. The filler loading, the size of the particles with their available functional groups on the surfaces of the PLA composites, and the interaction between the filler and the PLA polymer depend on the roughness and zeta potential behavior of the PLA-KL and PLA-TANN composites and ultimately improve the surface mechanical properties. The antioxidant properties of the PLA-KL and PLA-TANN composites were determined using the DPPH (2,2′-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) test. The results show an efficient antioxidant behavior of all PLA-KL and PLA-TANN composites, which increases with the filler content. Finally, the KL- and PLA-based TANN have shown resistance to the Gram-negative bacteria, E. coli, but without a correlation trend between polyphenol filler content and structure.
Keywords: poly (lactic acid), Kraft lignin, tannin, multifunctionality of PLA composites, surface mechanical properties, antioxidant/antibacterial activity
Published in DKUM: 18.09.2023; Views: 369; Downloads: 17
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Long-term creep compliance of wood polymer composites: using untreated wood fibers as a filler in recycled and neat polypropylene matrix
Marko Bek, Alexandra Aulova, Klementina Pušnik Črešnar, Sebastjan Matkovič, Mitjan Kalin, Lidija Slemenik Perše, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Neat (NPP) and recycled (RPP) polypropylene matrix materials were used to prepare wood–polymer composites with untreated wood fibers up to 40 wt.%. Long-term creep properties obtained through the time-temperature superposition showed superior creep resistance of composites with NPP matrix. In part, this is attributed to their higher crystallinity and better interfacial adhesion caused by the formation of a transcrystalline layer. This difference resulted in up to 25% creep compliance reduction of composites with NPP matrix compared to composites with recycled (RPP) polypropylene matrix, which does not form a transcrystalline layer between the fibers and polymer matrix. Despite the overall inferior creep performance of composites with RPP matrix, from the 20 wt.% on, the creep compliance is comparable and even surpasses the creep performance of unfilled NPP matrix and can be a promising way to promote sustainability.
Keywords: lesno-polimerni kompoziti, lezenje, vzdržljivost, les, recikliranje, wood–polymer composites, creep, durability, wood, recycling
Published in DKUM: 16.08.2023; Views: 241; Downloads: 17
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