Development and characterization of a novel activated biochar-based polymer composite for biosensors

Abdus Sobhan, Kasiviswanathan Muthukumarappan, Lin Wei, Quinn Qiao, Md Tawabur Rahman, Nabin Ghimire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The aim of this study is to develop and characterize an activated biochar-based polymer composite for biosensors in smart food packaging. Biochar was made from corn stover and activated using the steam-activation method. The activated biochar (ABC) was synthesized with polylactic acid (PLA) by a solvent casting method. While ABC ranged from 85% to 50%, PLA content varied from 15% to 50% (w/w) in the polymer composite. The electrical conductivity of the developed ABC/PLA composite was measured through differential plus voltammetry (DPV) and cyclic voltammetry (CV) using a potentiostat. It was found that the current increased from 0.3 to 2.31 mA for CV and 0.16 to 1.02 mA for DPV when ABC contents changed from 50% to 85%. The tensile strength (TS) and Young 's modulus of the ABC/PLA composite film increased from 0.81 to 3.04 MPa and 56.31 to 102.69 MPa respectively when PLA contents increased from 15% to 50%. The biosensor was fabricated with 85% ABC/PLA-based composite using a drop-casting method. The resistance of the fabricated biosensor increased as the concentration of NH3 increased over the range of 80 to 170 ppm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)544-560
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Polymer Analysis and Characterization
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Activated biochar
  • biosensor
  • composite
  • polylactic acid
  • polymer
  • smart packaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Polymers and Plastics


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