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Incorporation of ZnO Nanoparticles into Soy Protein-Based Bioplastics to Improve Their Functional Properties

The union of nanoscience (nanofertilization) with controlled release bioplastic systems could be a key factor for the improvement of fertilization in horticulture, avoiding excessive contamination and reducing the price of the products found in the current market. In this context, the objective of this work was to incorporate ZnO nanoparticles in soy protein-based bioplastic processed using injection moulding. Thus, the concentration of ZnO nanoparticles (0 wt%, 1.0 wt%, 2.0 wt%, 4.5 wt%) and mould temperature (70 °C, 90 °C and 110 °C) were evaluated through a mechanical (flexural and tensile properties), morphological (microstructure and nanoparticle distribution) and functional (water uptake capacity, micronutrient release and biodegradability) characterization. The results indicate that these parameters play an important role in the final characteristics of the bioplastics, being able to modify them. Ultimately, this study increases the versatility and functionality of the use of bioplastics and nanofertilization in horticulture, helping to prevent the greatest environmental impact caused.

Publication date: 04/02/2021

Author: Mercedes Jiménez-Rosado

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym13040486

MDPI (polymers)


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.