Sukichandran P, Ajay Krishna R , Suhanya M*.

Author 1: Dept of Chemical Engineering, Sastra Deemed University, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.E-mail: [email protected] , Ph. No.: 8608106340
Author 2: Dept of Chemical Engineering, Sastra Deemed University, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.E-mail: [email protected] , Ph. No.: 8760863685
Author 3*: Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Sethu Institute of Technology, Kariapatti, Pulloor, Virudhunagar District, Tamil Nadu., E-mail: [email protected] 2. [email protected] Ph. No: 9487105575
One of the major pollution that people facing now-a-days i.e., Land Pollution. When we hear the word land pollution, the thinks that come into our mind is polyethylene covers (packing covers). Now-a-days, it is used in many places such as Medicals, Markets, Grosary shop, big malls, etc.,. The usage of plastic covers cannot be destroyed completely but it can be reduced to some extent. Though our governments implemented many acts to reduce the usage of common polymer by asking the manufacturers, to reduce the cover size from 200 micron to 20-30 micron. Even then, we couldn’t minimize the usage of poly ethylene covers. Even now people are using higher micron covers. Hence, we cannot stop using higher micron poly ethylene covers, so we can start using bio-degradable polymers / Garbage bags / Carry bags / Medical Scan covers (around 40 microns). There comes our Bio-polymer bags, the process in which the bio-polymer bag is manufactured from Banana Fibres. The project is carried out to find the bag with higher density, less toxicity, higher tensile strength, stiffness, elongation. Our research based on this project will get succeeded soon.
Keywords: Pollution, Polyethylene, Biodegradable polymers, Biopolymer, packing, Banana fibers, etc
Over the last decades, the usage of polymer for packing food materials has increased drastically due to their advantage over other traditional materials such as glass, paper packaging, etc., is because of large viscosity of material compositions are available. So that the most convenient package design can be adapted to the very specific needs of each product in the market. Day by day the usages of non bio-degradable wrappers are thrown into environment which in turn causes many environmental and health hazards. Therefore the current technologies aims to preserve the freshness and integrity of the food by the usage of bio-degradable fiber in an efficient, economic and eco-friendly method.
The organizations such as American Society for Testing of Materials (ASTM) and the International Standards Organization (ISO) were created in 1992. Large clothing and grocery store chains have been making a push to utilize biodegradable bags in the late 2010s. Biodegradable polymers also received notice from various fields in 2012 when Professor Geoffrey Coates of Cornell University received the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award. As of 2013, 5-10% of the plastic market focused on biodegradable polymer derived plastics.
Biodegradable polymers are a specific type of polymer that breaks down after its intended purpose to result in natural byproducts such as gases (CO2, N2), water, biomass, and inorganic salts. These polymers are found both naturally and synthetically made, and largely consist of ester, amide, and ether functional groups. Their properties and breakdown mechanisms are determined by their exact structure. In general, biodegradable polymers can be grouped into two large groups based on their structure and synthesis. One of these groups is agro-polymers, or those derived from biomass. Agro-polymers include polysaccharides, like starches found in potatoes or wood, and proteins, such as animal based whey or plant derived gluten.
All biodegradable polymers should be stable and durable enough for use in their particular application, but upon disposal they should easily breakdown. The degradation rate depends on the location in the body, which influences the environment surrounding the polymer such as pH, enzymes concentration, and amount of water among others. Biodegradable polymers are of significant interest to a variety of fields including medicine, agriculture, and packaging.
Musa acuminata Colla: Musa acuminata  belongs to section Musa (formerly Eumusa) of the genus Musa. It belongs to the family Musaceae of the order Zingiberales. It is divided into several subspecies. Musa acuminata is a species of banana native to Southeast Asia.

Analysis ; Preparation of Biomaterial: The pseudo-stem of mature plants (after cutting the bananas bunch), randomly selected, were handily separated from foliage and several sheets of the trunk were disconnected. Afterwards they were air dried for 2 weeks. To carry out our experiments the initial raw material was divided in two types: (i) the whole material (type I) and (ii) the outer bark material (type II) which seemed to be richer in ?bres. Both types of material were ground and the 60–80mesh fraction was selected in order to determine its chemical composition. The samples were initially done to soxhlet extraction with ethanol/toluene (1:2 (v/v)) and water, for 8h.
The cellulose content was determined following Kurschner–Hoffner approach which consists of treating 5g of extractives-free samples with 125ml of alcoholic nitric acid solutions under re?ux during four cycles of 1 h. After each cycle, the alcoholic nitric acid solution is removed and a fresh volume is added. The alcoholic nitric acid solution consisted in mixing one volume of 65% (w/w) solution of nitric acid with four volumes of 96% purity ethanol (Browning, 1967). At the end of the four cycles, the cellulose was washed, dried and weighed.

Fig1: Dietary (banana) fibre
Pulping : In order to optimize the cooking conditions, chips of banana crops were prepared (approximately 10cm × 10cm and 5–7mm of thickness), and put on rotational thermostated mini-digesters having a volume of 100ml (20g oven dried (o.d.) material) controlled by an ES100P apparatus.
The effects of (i) raw material type; (ii) temperature: 90, 120 and 160 ?C; (iii) sodium hydroxide concentration (w/w with respect to o.d. material): 0, 5, 10, 18, 25 and 50%; (iv) liquor/crops ratio (l/kg): 3/1, 5/1 and 7/1; (v) time at constant temperature: 15, 30, 45, 60, 120, 180 and 240min; (vi) anthraquinone concentrations (w/w with respect to o.d. material): 0, 0.15, 0.25 and 0.35%; and (vii) sodium sulphite concentrations (w/w with respect to o.d. material): 5 and 18%, were studied. In all experiments, the heating time in order to reach the constant temperature was 1h.

After cooking, the cooked material was separated from black liquor, disintegrated, screened and washed abundantly with fresh water, using laboratory strainer. The disintegrator used, enabled the pulp screening which allowed, after drying, the determination of both total pulp yields and screening rejects by weighing each fraction. The residual lignin in the pulps was assessed by determining the Kappa number.

The degree of polymerization was calculated from viscosity data (TAPPI 206 m-55).

Fig2: Overall Methodology
Water of about 750ml is boiled at 60?C for 20 minutes. Glycerol of about 5ml is added to the boiled water and let the setup for 10 minutes. Then the bio-polymer guargum is added to the mixture of about 430grams is added with continuous stirring. Make sure that no lump formation occurs. It is then heated for 10 minutes with continuous stirring and 60 ?C is maintained throughout. As the next step add 70 gram of fiber and add sorbitol of 10ml and stir the setup continuously. Continuous stirring prevents the formation of lumps this process is continued for 20 minutes until we get a gum like paste. Then 37 the mixture is poured gently in the plate which is applied with oil. Then the plate is allowed to dry in tray drier for 12 hrs at 70?C.
Table 1: Weight loss in a Tray drier
S.No Time (min) Weight (g) Temperature (oC)
1 0 50 70
2 120 46 70
3 240 43 70
4 360 40 70
5 480 37.5 70
6 500 33 70

Fig3: Sheet formation and Formed packing material
Various properties like density, water absorption test, puncture resistance, Tear resistance, Degradation test and soil burial degradation rate had been analyzed with the prepared sample.

1. Density Measurement: It is an important physical property. Generally, material of low density is preferred for packing material. Here, mass of each sample is weighed and dimension is kept constant. Density of the sample is measured by

The results of density shows that density decreases with increasing composition of fibre packing materials with good strength.

2. Water absorption test: The sample is cut into 10 x 10cm and initially weighed (w1) and dipped in water for 2 minutes. The excess water is squared. From this the absorption power of y the sample can be calculated. The result of water absorption showed that Cobb index value decreases with increase in composition of fibre which is positive response. Reduced water absorption is due to hydrophobic nature of guargum.

Cobb Index = (final weight – initial weight) x 100

Fig 4: Water Absorption Fig 5: Tear Resistance
3. Tear Resistance Test: The specimen is clamped with the 62mm edge vertically, centrally in the jaws so that the lower edge of each sheet rests on the bottom of the jaws and the side edge coincides. Silt the test specimen by gently depressing the knife handle as far as it will travel and then release. The reading is indicated by the pointer to the nearest unit is noted. The procedure is repeated for several times.

Tear resistance strength = Tearing Force / Thickness
The results have been noted and graph shows that increase in composition of fiber increases the tear force.

4. Puncture Resistance Test: This denotes the relative ability of the material to inhibit the progression of a tear once it has been pierced by a cut or a nick.

1 Beach unit = 0.305 cm/kg

Fig 6: Composition of fibres Vs Puncture Resistance
The graph (fig 6) shows that as composition of fibers increases, the puncture resistance also increases significantly. The result of tear resistance and puncture resistance increases with increasing composition .This indicates that the packing material is strong enough and it can resist load and tear while handling it.

5. Degradation Test: Sample was treated for its biodegradability. Initially 5gm of sample was taken and dipped in acid and alkaline soils. weight loss was noted after 24 days. Results showed that degradation was faster in alkaline environment than in acidic environment and the packaging material is completely bio-degradable.

Table 2: Results for Degradation Tests
Environment Initial Weight (g) After 24 days Final Weight (g)
Acid 5 3.9
Alkaline 5 2.2
6. Soil Burial Degradation : Biodegradation experiments were carried out at ambient temperature under moisture controlled conditions. Specimens of each composite were placed in a series of perforated box containing moisturized soil. Specimen (40×10 mm) was buried 150mm beneath the surface of soil which was regularly moistened with distilled water. The sample were removed at pretended time point washed with water several times in order to ensure the stop of the degradation, dried at room temp to a constant weight ; then were stored in darkness until testing. The results obtained was acceptable.

Table 3: Results for Soil Burial Degradation
S.No No. of Days Weight (gm)
1 0 5
2 3 3
3 5 2
4 6 1.5
5 7 1
7. Microbial analysis: Microbial test was carried out by plate count method. The optimized sample was analyzed for bacterial and fungal count for dilution 10-2 and 10-4 respectively. Medium used for growth is nutrient agar. Sample was analyzed after 20 days of its production. Results were analyzed after 7 days of incubation period and no growth was found in the sample. This ensures that it can be used as a food packaging material i.e. the compatibility of food with the packaging material.

The main objective of this study was to establish the suitability of M. acuminata Colla as a potential source of banana pseudo-stem ?bres for paper and composites materials. By the present study in chemical composition and pulping optimization process, we conclude that: (i) regardless the high amount of ashes a good yield of pulping is obtained with an acceptable Kappa number; (ii) the banana pseudo-stem separation in two parts did not present any signi?cant increase in the pulp yield, which justify an additional separation operation in the crops, although the holocellulose content was found to be higher in the outer bark part; (iii) the optimal conditions of cooking are soft comparing to those used for vegetal species. On comparing the test results, values were found to be high for the sample. The packaging material made out of edible fibres showed increase in strength on addition of fibres, decrease in water absorption. There was no difference found in density values for samples. The packaging material can be used in food packaging and it is completely bio-degradable. It has been concluded that the optimized sample with 70gm of fibre and 430gm of bio-polymer is found to have high strength with low water absorption value. The suitability of these ?bres in the papermaking boards and composite materials areas are under investigation. Finally, we conclude that fibre technology enhanced by Bio-derived polymers has recently emerged as an innovative and exciting technology.

‘Every single step to save nature turns a great leap in joining hands with nature.’
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