Controlled preparation of grafted starch modified with Ni nanoparticles for biodegradable polymer nanocomposites and its application in food packaging

Shahid Iqbal, Sohail Nadeem, Mohsin Javed, Hashem O. Alsaab, Nasser S. Awwad, Hala A. Ibrahium, Ayesha Mohyuddin

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Grafting of starch with methyl methacrylate was carried out using a free radical mechanism. Free radicals were generated by the thermal disintegration of potassium persulphate at the temperature of 60°C. A variety of experimental methods were investigated to check the effect of different parameters such as (temperature, amount of starch, quantity of monomer) for efficient grafting. The optimum temperature found for good grafting was 60°C. The initial amount of starch was taken as 0.75 g. Keeping the amount of starch constant, the quantity of monomer was reduced gradually from 10 to 2 ml in portions of 5 and 3 ml. The controlled biodegradability of the grafted product was obtained by using a 3 ml monomer in 0.75 g starch. This grafted polymer showed 31.45% biodegradability in 60 days. The nanocomposite of starch grafted methyl methacrylate was prepared by incorporating 0.02 g Ni nanoparticles in the reaction flask 15 min before the completion of reaction time. The starch grafted polymer and nanocomposite of this were fully characterized by SEM, FTIR, TGA, and DSC techniques. The soil burial method was applied to estimate the biodegradability of samples. The polymer containing Ni nanoparticles was less biodegradable than without nanoparticles. Such polymers can be efficiently used as packaging material for food items. Research Highlights: Through a free radical method, methyl methacrylate was grafted onto the backbone of starch in this study. During the process, nickel nanoparticles were added to achieve the nickel nanocomposite of the starch grafted polymer. The breakdown of starch grafted polymer after 60 days in a soil burial experiment was 31.45%, whereas the degradation of nanocomposites was 20.07%. Our synthesized nanocomposite polymers can be effectively employed as packaging material for food items.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2331-2337
Number of pages7
JournalMicroscopy Research and Technique
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • biodegradable polymer
  • food packaging
  • grafted starch
  • nickel nanocomposites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Instrumentation
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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