Development of cellulose films by means of the Ioncell® technology, as an alternative to commercial films

Eva González Carmona, Inge Schlapp-Hackl, Seppo Jääskeläinen, Masi Järvinen, Kaarlo Nieminen, Daisuke Sawada, Michael Hummel*, Herbert Sixta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

In recent years, the search for alternatives to petroleum derived products, such as plastic films, has become a priority due to the growing depletion of fossil reserves and the pollution of water resources by microplastics, microscopically small plastic particles which are harmful to ocean and aquatic life. Cellulose-based films, e.g., cellophane and cuprophane, have been on the market for almost a century. Despite being a more ecological option compared to plastic films, the manufacture of these cellulose films involves high production costs and the use of harmful chemicals. As an alternative, a sustainable and eco-friendly process based on the Lyocell-type Ioncell® technology is presented to produce cellulose films. Regenerated cellulose films are created by continuous extrusion via dry-jet wet spinning of an ionic liquid–cellulose solutions. The influence of the polymer concentration (8–13 wt%) and processing temperature (50–100 °C) on the properties of the films were studied by the determination of the thickness, mechanical properties, physical appearance, morphology, chemical composition, and hydrophobicity. The obtained films are thin (12–21 μm), transparent (transmittance = 91%) and of homogeneous structure. Moreover, they exhibit excellent mechanical properties: stress values up to 210 MPa and elongations up to 19% in machine (longitudinal) direction. These values clearly outperform commercial cellophane, which presents stress values of 125 MPa and elongations of 22%. The films presented herein hold great potential to become an eco-friendly and sustainable option to commercial films.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11633-11648
Number of pages16
JournalCellulose
Volume30
Issue number18
Early online date4 Nov 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Cellulose films
  • Dry-jet wet spinning
  • Ioncell
  • Ionic liquid
  • Pulp
  • Sustainability

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