260126 Novel Biodegradable Composites From Poly (Butylene Succinate) Bioplastic and Co-Products From Biofuel Industries: Processing and Properties Evaluation

Thursday, November 1, 2012: 2:35 PM
304 (Convention Center )
Andrew Anstey1, Sudhakar Muniyasamy1, Murali M. Reddy2, Amar K. Mohanty3 and Manju Misra4, (1)Bioproducts Discovery & Development Centre (BDDC), Department of Plant Agriculture, Crop Science Building,, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada, (2)Bioproducts Discovery & Development Centre (BDDC), Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada, (3)Department of Plant Agriculture & School of Engineering, Bioproducts Discovery & Development Centre (BDDC), University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada, (4)School of Engineering and the Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada

Biocomposites can provide a sustainable platform for biofuel co-products which are available in large quantities due to rapid expansion of biodiesel industries. Co-products function as both a shock absorber and a price adjuster for the biofuel industry by providing an additional income stream. These co-products can be suitable candidates for the development of new biocomposites due to their inherent biodegradability and renewable carbon content.

The present study involves developing biocomposites of poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) using biofuel co-products (canola meal, soy meal, corn gluten meal) as fillers and comparing them with natural fiber-based biocomposites (switchgrass). This work aims to establish the role of these co-products in the design and engineering of new biocomposites, and their influence on material properties and biodegradability under controlled composting conditions. Conventional melt extrusion and injection molding techniques were implemented in fabricating these biocomposites. The mechanical properties (tensile, flexural and impact), thermal properties (TGA, DSC, DMA), structural properties (FT-IR) and microscopic observations (i.e. state of dispersion) (SEM) of these biocomposites were analyzed. A biodegradation study was carried out in order to determine the relative biodegradation rate of the composites and neat bioplastic and to examine the biodegradation process of the materials.

The results demonstrated that the PBS-switchgrass biocomposites had better mechanical behaviour than the meal-based PBS biocomposites. However, the PBS-meal biocomposites displayed better toughness and ductile behavior than the PBS-switchgrass biocomposites. The compostability study revealed that biodegradation rates of the meals were nearly double to that of switchgrass. The same trend was observed in the biocomposites; the PBS-meal biocomposites biodegraded much faster than the PBS matrix and PBS-switchgrass biocomposites. The presence of meals helped the initial growth of microorganisms, leading to hydrolysis of the PBS matrix. This study opens up new knowledge on the comparative compostability of two distinct types of PBS-based biocomposites; one with meal co-products, and another with perennial grass.

Acknowledgements:  This research is financially supported by the OMAFRA – 2009, 2010 New Directions & Alternative Renewable Fuels ‘Plus’ Research Program-SR9223 and the Ontario Research Fund (ORF) Research Excellence (RE) Round-4 from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovations (MEDI) and Hannam Soybean Utilization Fund (HSUF).

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