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Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 205–211 | Cite as

Extruded Cornstarch-Glycerol-Polyvinyl Alcohol Blends: Mechanical Properties, Morphology, and Biodegradability

  • Lijun Mao
  • Syed Imam
  • Sherald Gordon
  • Patrizia Cinelli
  • Emo Chiellini
Article

Abstract

Elongation properties of extruded cornstarch were improved by blending with glycerol. Further blending of starch-glycerol with polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) resulted in significant improvements in both tensile strength (TS) and elongation at break. Samples of starch-glycerol without PVOH equilibrated at 50% relative humidity had a TS of 1.8 MPa and elongation of 113%, whereas those containing PVOH had a TS and elongation of 4 MPa and 150%, respectively. Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) of starch-glycerol-PVOH blends showed that decreases in glass transition temperatures (Tg values) were proportional to glycerol content. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of fractured surfaces revealed numerous cracks in starch-glycerol (80:20) samples. Cracks were absent in starch-glycerol (70:30) samples. In both blends, many starch granules were exposed at the surface. No exposed starch granules were visible in blends with added PVOH. Starch-glycerol samples incubated in compost lost up to 70% of their dry weight within 22 days. Addition of PVOH lowered both the rate and extent of biodegradation.

Extruded polyvinyl alcohol starch glycerol biodegradation films 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lijun Mao
    • 1
  • Syed Imam
    • 2
  • Sherald Gordon
    • 1
  • Patrizia Cinelli
    • 3
  • Emo Chiellini
    • 3
  1. 1.Plant Polymer Research Unit, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Agriculture Research ServiceUnited States Department of AgriculturePeoria
  2. 2.Plant Polymer Research Unit, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Agriculture Research ServiceUnited States Department of AgriculturePeoria
  3. 3.Department of Chemistry and Industrial ChemistryUniversity of PisaPisaItaly

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