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Mineralization of Poly(lactic acid) (PLA), Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-valerate) (PHBV) and PLA/PHBV Blend in Compost and Soil Environments

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The present study investigates the mineralization of poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-covalerate) (PHBV), and PLA/PHBV blend in compost and soil burial environments. The mineralization was assayed on the basis of carbon dioxide (CO2) release from the test materials incubated in compost and soil for a period of 200 days. The degradation was followed by means of fragmentation, thermogravimetric (TGA), FTIR spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analyses. The results showed that PLA, PHBV and blend of PLA/PHBV achieved almost 90% biodegradation under composting conditions, while PHBV, PLA/PHBV blend and PLA respectively achieved only 35%, 32% and 4% biodegradation under soil burial conditions. The results of crystallinity, thermal degradation, microstructure and surface morphology analyzed by TGA, FTIR and SEM indicated that the blending approach and different environmental conditions in soil and compost were the most infl uencing parameters for the ultimate biodegradation of these biobased polymers.
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Keywords: BIODEGRADATION; COMPOST AND SOIL BURIAL; PHBV; PLA; PLA/PHBV BLEND

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 April 2016

This article was made available online on 30 March 2016 as a Fast Track article with title: "Mineralization of Poly(lactic acid) (PLA), Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-valerate) (PHBV) and PLA/PHBV Blend in Compost and Soil Environments".

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  • The Journal of Renewable Materials (JRM) publishes high quality peer reviewed original research on macromolecules and additives obtained from renewable/biobased resources. Utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, JRM introduces cutting-edge research on biobased monomers, polymers, additives (both organic and inorganic), their blends and composites. It showcases both fundamental aspects and new applications for renewable materials. The fundamental theories and topics pertain to chemistry of biobased monomers, macromoners and polymers, their structure-property relationship, processing using sustainable methods, characterization (spectroscopic, morphological, thermal, mechanical, and rheological), bio and environmental degradation, and life cycle analysis. Demonstration of use of renewable materials and composites in applications including adhesives, bio and environmentally degradable structures, biomedicine, construction, electrical & electronics, mechanical, mendable and self-healing systems, optics, packaging, recycling, shape-memory, and stimulus responsive systems will be presented.
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