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