Starch/Poly(butylene succinate) Compatibilizers: Effect of Different Reaction-Approaches on the Properties of Thermoplastic Starch-Based Compostable Films

  • Barbara FahrngruberEmail author
  • Marta Fortea-Verdejo
  • Rupert Wimmer
  • Norbert Mundigler
Original paper


The property profile of thin thermoplastic starch (TPS)/poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) films was investigated and the potential improvement, which can be achieved due to the utilization of hydrophilic/hydrophobic compatibilizer systems, was assessed. The evaluation in terms of morphology exhibited a very good TPS dispersion (under optimized processing conditions) within the polyester matrix, while an average particle size of 1.5 µm was obtained. Two different raw material approaches were applied for the preparation of the compatibilizers: (a) native corn starch and (b) destructurized TPS. In the course of the compounding process 0.5 and 1.0 wt% of the two compatibilizer systems (a) and (b) were added. In comparison, the addition of the TPS-based compatibilizer resulted in improved incorporation of TPS within the polyester matrix, which was accompanied by higher tensile strength and tear resistance. Explanations for this observation could be that pre-plasticized starch provides a larger reaction surface and enables better homogenization during the course of compounding. In contrast, for native starch the reaction only can take place at the granule surface and thus, the compatibilization was less efficient. The outcome of this investigation is a compostable film material with high bio-based content, which exhibits great potential for single-use, light-weight packaging applications.


Thermoplastic starch Reactive extrusion Compatibilization Compostability Biomaterials characterization 



The authors would like to thank the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG, Project Number: 854577) for the financial support. Furthermore, the authors wish to thank Agrana Stärke for generously supplying the required starch raw material.

Supplementary material

10924_2019_1601_MOESM1_ESM.docx (498 kb)
Supplementary file1 (DOCX 497 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Agrana Research & Innovation Center GmbHTullnAustria
  2. 2.Polymer and Composite Engineering (PaCE) Group, Institute of Materials Chemistry and Research, Faculty of ChemistryUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  3. 3.Institute for Wood Technology and Renewable MaterialsUniversity for Natural Resources and Life Sciences, ViennaTullnAustria
  4. 4.Institute for Natural Materials TechnologyUniversity for Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, IFA TullnTullnAustria

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