Water-stable cellulose fiber foam with antimicrobial properties for bio based low-density materials

Anna Ottenhall, Tiinamari Seppänen, Monica Ek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


New bio-based packaging materials are highly interesting for replacing conventional fossil based products for a more sustainable society. Water-stable cellulose fiber foams have been produced in a simple one-batch foam-forming process with drying under ambient conditions. The cellulose fiber foams have a low density (33–66 kg/m 3 ) and can inhibit microbial growth; two highly valuable features for insulating packaging materials, especially in combination with stability in water. Cationic chitosan and/or polyvinylamine have been added during the foam-forming process to give the foams water-stability and antimicrobial properties. The structural and mechanical properties of the cellulose fiber foams have been studied and the antimicrobial properties have been evaluated with respect to both Escherichia coli, a common model bacteria and Aspergillus brasiliensis, a sporulating mold. The cellulose foams containing chitosan had both good water-stability and good antibacterial and antifungal properties, while the foams containing PVAm did disintegrate in water and did not inhibit fungal growth when nutrients were added to the foam, showing that it is possible to produce a bio-based foam material with the desired characters. This can be an interesting low-density packaging material for protection from both mechanical and microbial damage without using any toxic compounds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2599-2613
Number of pages15
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Cellulosic
  • Chitosan
  • Citric acid
  • Insulation
  • Packaging
  • Polyvinylamine
  • Wet-stable


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