Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Chemical and Paper Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Alexandra Pekarovicova

Second Advisor

Dr. Paul D. Fleming III

Third Advisor

Dr. Veronika Husovska


Barrier coating, smart packaging, printed electronics, moisture sensor, glucomannan, hemicellulose


Fiber-based packaging materials have many advantages over their petroleum-based plastic competitors, such as sustainability, recyclability and stiffness/weight ratio. However, the poor barrier properties and sensitivity towards moisture are the main challenges for their extended use. Therefore, there has been a need to provide a biodegradable and biocompatible biopolymer packaging material with improved barrier properties for food and pharmaceutical packaging. Also, the moisture loss/gain problem causes a lot of waste every year. Therefore, there is a need of better tracking and sensing methods attached to the package in order to control the moisture level along the supply chain. To accomplish these goals, three studies have been designed: a) The preparation of the hemicellulose-based films and the characterization of surface, strength and printability properties. b) The barrier properties of the hemicellulose-based biofilm were characterized with moisture vapor transmission rate. The hydrophobic property and moisture barrier property of hemicellulose-based biopolymer were improved by crosslinking with citric acid and further characterized by moisture vapor transmission rate (MVTR). c) The barrier coating was formulated and applied to the back side of solid bleached sulphate (SBS) board and was screen printed with a moisture sensor. The moisture sensor was characterized by its impedance with various relative humidity ranges. The findings provide the possibility of combining the hemicellulose-based biodegradable barrier coatings with printed moisture sensors in order to boost their capabilities in smart packaging applications.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access