Facile Preparation of Cellulose Bioplastic from Cladophora sp. Algae via Hydrogel Method
Bioplastic has been widely studied in the past decades as a replacement for non-biodegradable and non-environmentally friendly plastic. One of the promising materials to produce bioplastic is cellulose. However, it is rarely used as the main component for bioplastic production. This study reports a facile process to prepare bioplastic using the pure cellulose content of Cladophora sp. algae via the hydrogel method. The effect of epichlorohydrin (ECH) concentrations as the cross-linking agent was investigated toward the biodegradability, thermal, and mechanical properties of the cellulose bioplastic obtained. The results showed that ECH concentrations affected the properties of the cellulose bioplastic produced due to the number of cross-links formed during the process. The cellulose bioplastic possessed relatively high thermal and mechanical properties. The cellulose bioplastic performed excellent biodegradability, as it was degraded by more than 40% within five days. Thus, the cellulose of Cladophora sp. algae has the potential to be developed as the main component for bioplastic application.