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


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)
JournalInternational Journal of Polymer Analysis and Characterization
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Polymers and Plastics


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