Submitted to: Journal of Applied Polymer Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/28/2009
Publication Date: 7/16/2009
Citation: Netramai, S., Rubino, M., Aurus, R., Annous, B.A. 2009. Mass Transfer Study of Chlorine Dioxide Gas Through Polymeric Packaging Materials. Journal of Applied Polymer Science. 2929-2936. Interpretive Summary: Chlorine dioxide gas (ClO2) is a strong oxidizing agent and an effective surface disinfectant. Its disinfecting capacity has been recognized since the early 1900s, and was used initially to treat water, as it causes less organoleptic problems than chlorine. Due to its bacteriocide effects, ClO2 gas is gaining significant interest in the food and pharmaceutical industries. In 2001, the FDA approved the incorporation of ClO2 within food packaging materials to be used for uncooked meats, such as poultry and seafood. If the package is going to be considered as a strategy for the release and application of ClO2 gas, the mass transfer properties of ClO2 need to be determined since it will impact the selection of material with appropriate barrier to such gas. A continuous system for measuring the mass transfer of ClO2 through different packaging material was developed utilizing electrochemical sensor as a detector. Results indicated that biaxial oriented polypropylene (BOPP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), poly lactic acid (PLA), nylon, and multilayer structure of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) [EVA/EVOH/EVA] had better barrier properties for gaseous ClO2 as compared to polyethylene (PE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and polystyrene (PS). The permeation of ClO2 through PLA film is less temperature dependent than PET film, which is considered beneficial when the packaging system is occasionally subjected to temperature abuses during transportation, or on shelf.
Technical Abstract: A continuous system for measuring the mass transfer of gaseous chlorine dioxide (ClO2), a strong oxidizing agent and used in food and pharmaceutical packaging, through 10 different types of polymeric packaging material was developed utilizing electrochemical sensor as a detector. Permeability, diffusion, and solubility coefficients of 3600 ppm ClO2 were determined through the following packaging material: biaxial oriented polypropylene (BOPP); polyethylene terephthalate (PET); poly lactic acid (PLA); multilayer structure of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) [EVA/EVOH/EVA]; polyethylene (PE); polyvinyl chloride (PVC); polystyrene (PS); and nylon. Permeability values ranged from below 0.07 x 10-17 kg ClO2.m.m-2.s-1.Pa-1 for EVA/EVOH/EVA to 4.83 x 10-16 kg ClO2.m.m-2.s-1.Pa-1 for PE. Results indicated that BOPP, PET, PLA, nylon, and EVA/EVOH/EVA had better barrier properties for gaseous ClO2 as compared to PE, PVC, and PS. The activation energy of permeation for PET and PLA, were determined to be 56.25 +/- 5.02 and 82.49 +/- 7.02 kJ/mol, respectively. The activation energy for PET are significantly lower than those for PLA indicating that the permeation of ClO2 trough the latter is less temperature dependent, which is considered beneficial when the packaging system is occasionally subjected to temperature abuses during transportation, or on shelf.