Opportunity for PhD program Food Science and Technology at RMIT University, Australia

Title: Developing Biodegradable Packaging Materials using Fibers and lignocellulosic components of hemp.

 (PhD project in collaboration with Nutrifield)


Professor Benu Adhikari, RMIT University

Professor Rajaraman Eri, RMIT University

Dr Jamie Selby-Pham, Nutrifield

Background: This project is aimed at using the cellulosic (especially nanofibers) and lignocellulosic materials (lignin or its complex with cellulose from hemp stem) to develop biodegradable packaging materials and comparing their performance. It is hypothesized that the incorporation of cellulosic nanofibers and lignin from hemp with synthetic yet biodegradable polymer such as PBAT will produce flexible packaging materials with improved strength, flexibility and water vapour barrier properties.

The outcome will broaden the application of poorly used part of hemp stem and value-add hemp farming business. The specific objectives of this project are as follows.

1. Extract and characterize nanocellulose fibers and lignocellulosic materials (especially lignin) from different hemp cultivars grown using different nutrients (including silica or biostimulants such as complexes containing kelp and fish emulsion) with special focus on using them as packaging materials.

2. Develop flexible packaging using whole of the hemp stem components (nanofibers and lignocellulosic materials and whole stem) and by hybridizing with synthetic yet biodegradable plastics (e.g. PBAT) and determine their physico-mechanical properties including water vapour and oxygen permeability and water repellence.

3. Measure and quantify the biodegradability of packaging materials produced under objective

To apply &Contact details:

Prof Benu Adhikari: Benu.Adhikari@rmit.edu.au

Prof Raj Eri: rajaraman.eri@rmit.edu.au

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