Development of composite films based on thermoplastic starch and cellulose microfibrils from Colombian agroindustrial wastes

Úrsula Montoya, Robin Zuluaga, Cristina Castro, Silvia Goyanes, Piedad Gañán

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle in an indexed scientific journalpeer-review

    16 Scopus citations


    Composite materials are produced using thermoplastic starch reinforced with cellulose microfibrils. The cellulose microfibrils are isolated from two different sources and their reinforcement capacity was evaluated. Vegetable cellulose (VC) microfibrils are isolated from vascular bundles of banana rachis, while bacterial cellulose (BC) microfibrils are produced by Gluconacetobacter genus bacteria using pineapple peel juice as the culture media. For this study, both the materials were obtained from Colombian agroindustrial wastes. Composite films were characterized using different techniques, including mechanical tensile testing, attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and thermogravimetric analysis. The purpose of this study is to assess the effect of different processing methods and cellulose microfibrils content in the composite material behavior. The results showed that the mechanical properties were increased when cellulose microfibrils were added before gelatinization. Significant increments in Young's modulus and tensile strength of both VC and BC composites were obtained with respect to starch matrix.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)413-426
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Mar 2014

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    This work was supported by the Departamento Administrativo de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (Colciencias) and Centro de Investigación para el Desarrollo y la Innovación (CIDI) for the financial support.


    • Agroindustrial waste
    • bacterial cellulose microfibrils
    • composite films
    • potato starch
    • vegetable cellulose microfibrils


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