Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 95–107 | Cite as

Biodegradation of Polylactide and Gelatinized Starch Blend Films Under Controlled Soil Burial Conditions

  • Worasak Phetwarotai
  • Pranut Potiyaraj
  • Duangdao Aht-Ong
Original Paper


The biodegradability of polylactide (PLA) and gelatinized starches (GS) blend films in the presence of compatibilizer was investigated under controlled soil burial conditions. Various contents (0–40 wt%) of corn and tapioca starches were added as fillers; whereas, different amounts of methylenediphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) (0–2.5 wt%) and 10 wt% based on PLA content of polyethylene glycol 400 (PEG400) were used as a compatibilizer and a plasticizer, respectively. The biodegradation process was followed by measuring changes in the physical appearance, weight loss, morphological studies, and tensile properties of the blend films. The results showed that the presence of small amount of MDI significantly increased the tensile properties of the blends compared with the uncompatibilized blends. This is attributed to an improvement of the interfacial interaction between PLA and GS phases, as evidenced by the morphological results. For soil burial testing, PLA/GS films with lower levels (1.25 wt%) of MDI had less degradation; in contrast, at high level of MDI, their changes of physical appearance and weight loss tended to increase. These effects are in agreement with their water absorption results. Furthermore, biodegradation rates of the films were enhanced with increasing starch contents, while mechanical performances were decreased.


Polylactide Starch Blend Film Biodegradation 



The authors acknowledged the financial support from the National Research University Project of CHE and the Ratchadaphiseksomphot Endowment Fund (AM1027A) and the 90th Anniversary of Chulalongkorn University Fund (Ratchadaphiseksomphot Endowment Fund). W. Phetwarotai gratefully thanks Development and Promotion of Science and technology Talents project (DPST).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Worasak Phetwarotai
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pranut Potiyaraj
    • 1
    • 2
  • Duangdao Aht-Ong
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Materials Science, Faculty of ScienceChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Center of Excellence on Petrochemical and Materials TechnologyChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand

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