We report a novel manufacturing method for bio renewable regenerated cellulose fibres modified with curcumin, a molecule is known for its medicinal properties. Ionic liquid namely 1-Ethyl 3-Methyl Imidazolium diethyl phosphate (emim DEP) was found to be capable of dissolving cellulose as well as curcumin. Regenerated cellulose/curcumin composites fibres with curcumin concentration ranging from 1 to 10 wt% were manufactured using dry jet wet fibres spinning process using three different winding speeds. All the cellulose and curcumin composite fibres showed distinct yellow colour imparted by curcumin. The resultant fibres were characterised using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), infrared spectroscopy, mechanical testing, and X-Ray diffraction studies. Scanning electron microscopy of cellulose/curcumin fibres cross-section did not show curcumin aggregates in cellulose fibres indicating uniform dispersion of curcumin in cellulose matrix. The cellulose chain alignment in cellulose/curcumin composite fibres resulted in tensile strength ranging from 223 to 336 MPa and Young's modulus ranging from 13 to 14.9 GPa. The mechanical properties of cellulose/curcumin composite fibres thus obtained are better than some of the commercially available regenerated cellulose viscose fibres. The wide-angle X-ray diffraction analysis of cellulose/curcumin composite fibres showed good alignment of cellulose chains along the fibre axis. Thus, our findings are a major step in manufacturing strong cellulose fibres with a pharmacologically potent drug curcumin which in future could be used for medicinal, cosmetic and food packaging applications.
- Food packaging
- Ionic liquids