Deakin University

File(s) under permanent embargo

Waste-Hair-Derived Natural Melanin/TiO2 Hybrids as Highly Efficient and Stable UV-Shielding Fillers for Polyurethane Films

journal contribution
posted on 2020-01-01, 00:00 authored by Wanjie Xie, Esfandiar Pakdel, Dan LiuDan Liu, Lu Sun, Xungai Wang
© 2019 American Chemical Society. Melanin is a ubiquitous natural pigment that protects living organisms from intense sunlight. Although synthetic melanin with different sizes and morphologies has been developed for UV-shielding polymers, studies can rarely be found regarding their natural counterparts. In this study, the natural melanin (NM) granules were isolated from conventional textile scraps such as yak and alpaca hair wastes and well characterized. This was followed by integrating them with TiO2 nanoparticles through hydrogen bonding using a simple physical mixing method, and the resultant NM/TiO2 hybrids were embedded in polyurethane (PU) films. Our results suggested that the PU films containing 2.5 wt % NM/TiO2 hybrids possessed highly efficient UV-shielding ability, improved photostability, and well-maintained transparency. The ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) values of the 2.5 wt %-NM/TiO2/PU composite films were approximately four times higher than those of the 2.5 wt %-TiO2/PU composite films. Moreover, although the 2.5 wt %-NM/TiO2/PU and 1.25 wt %-NM/PU composite films shared a similar UPF value, the transmittance at 550 nm of 2.5 wt %-NM/TiO2/PU was ∼2.5 times higher. Most importantly, the photoinduced chemiluminescence tests proved the excellent photostability of the NM/TiO2/PU composite films. Owing to the abundant natural source of NM, the commercial availability of TiO2, as well as the simple preparation protocol of the NM/TiO2 hybrids, this work highlights the potential of hair-derived NM-based UV-shielding fillers for various polymeric materials.



ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering






1343 - 1352


ACS Publications


Washington, D.C.





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal; C Journal article