GUAR GUM AND CHITOSAN POLYMER

Recently, scientists have developed a New biodegradable polymer, using Guar Gum, and Chitosan, which has high potential for packaging material.

Important points::

  • It is a guar gum-chitosan composite film which is a cross-linked polysaccharide developed with the help of solution casting method (a simple technique to make polymer films). It overcomes the challenges of polysaccharides.
  • Polysaccharides is one of the biopolymers with high potential for use in synthesis of packaging material.
  • However, due to some drawbacks of polysaccharides, such as low mechanical properties, high water-solubility, and low barrier properties, they are not preferred.
  • Guar Gum, and Chitosan are polysaccharides extracted from guar beans and shells of crab and shrimps.
  • High water stability, high mechanical strength as well as excellent resistance towards harsh environmental conditions.
  • The fabricated cross-linked film is not easily soluble in water. As per scientists, it did not dissolve even after 240 hours.
  • It is highly water repellent or hydrophobic because of its high contact angle of 92.8º.
  • Water vapor permeability is low as compared to the film made only from chitosan.
  • Vapour permeability is a material’s ability to allow a vapour (such as water vapour or, indeed any gas) to pass through it.

Significance:

  • It is likely to help effectively deal with the menace of piling non-biodegradable packaging materials, including water and soda bottles.
  • Normally, Polymers have a wide variety of industrial and commercial uses but it is not biodegradable and hence poses a major challenge to the environment and earth’s ecosystem.

SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT

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