Layer-by-layer coating of cellulose paper to impart robust superhydrophobicity and water vapor barrier properties

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University of New Brunswick


The rise in single-use plastic waste poses a significant environmental threat. Biodegradable cellulose paper is a potential eco-friendly alternative but is vulnerable to water, oxygen, and air. This study enhanced cellulose paper’s barrier properties by coating it with Precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC), nanocellulose, and Alkyl ketene dimer (AKD), along with layers of Cellulose nanocrystal (CNC), Cellulose Filament (CF), and Carboxymethyl cellulose nanofiber (CM-CNF). These layers were applied using filtration and dip coating techniques. Characterization showed the coated paper had a contact angle of 169°, a sliding angle of 5.5°, and significant reductions in water absorptiveness (88.9%) and water vapor transmission rate (83.5%). It also exhibited improved air resistance and a 137% increase in tensile strength, making it a robust, eco-friendly packaging solution for the food industry, resistant to water, vapor, air, acid, and organic solvents.