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Nanocellulose-based multilayer barrier coatings for gas, oil, and grease resistance

Tyagi, Preeti, Lucia, Lucian A., Hubbe, Martin A., Pal, Lokendra
Carbohydrate polymers 2019 v.206 pp. 281-288
air, brittleness, cellulose, cellulose nanofibers, coatings, humidity, nanocrystals, oils, oxygen, packaging, paper, petroleum
Cellulose derivatives such as cellulose nanofibers (CNF) and cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) have enormous potential to reduce or replace petroleum and fluorochemicals for food and other packaging applications. CNFs have been studied for their excellent oxygen and gas barrier properties; however, their performance rapidly decreases in the presence of moisture and higher humidity. CNCs are less sensitive to moisture due to their highly crystalline nature; however, coatings and films made of CNCs are much more prone to fracture due to their high brittleness. Our work demonstrates a unique composite barrier coating system of CNF and CNC that synergistically enables oil and grease resistance (a kit rating of 11) comparable to fluorochemicals. It also demonstrates a significant increase in air resistance (∼by a factor of about 300), and a reduction in oxygen transmission rate (∼by a factor of about 260) compared to uncoated paper. The improvements in oil and gas barrier properties were evaluated with respect to the molecular, chemical, and structural properties of the developed coatings.