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Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Biocomposites Made of Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) and Potato Pulp Powder

: Righetti, Maria Cristina; Cinelli, Patrizia; Mallegni, Norma; Stäbler, Andreas; Lazzeri, Andrea

Fulltext ()

Polymers. Online resource 11 (2019), No.2, Art. 308, 15 pp.
ISSN: 2073-4360
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IVV ()

The thermal and mechanical properties of biocomposites of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) containing 5 wt % of valerate units, with 20 wt % of potato pulp powder were investigated in order (i) to obtain information on possible miscibility/compatibility between the biopolymers and the potato pulp, and (ii) to quantify how the addition of this filler modifies the properties of the polymeric material. The potato pulp powder utilized is a residue of processing for the production and extraction of starch. The final aim of this study is the preparation of PHBV based materials with reduced cost, thanks to biomass valorization, in agreement with the circular economy policy, as result of the incorporation of agricultural organic waste. The results showed that the potato pulp powder does not act as reinforcement, but rather as filler for the PHBV polymeric matrix. A moderate loss in mechanical properties is detected (decrease in elastic modulus, tensile strength and elongation at break), which regardless still meets the technical requirements indicated for rigid packaging production. In order to improve the mechanical response of the PHBV/potato pulp powder biocomposites, surface treatment of the potato pulp powder with bio-based and petroleum-based waxes was investigated. Good enhancement of the mechanical properties was achieved with the natural carnauba and bee waxes.