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ARPN Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Synthesis and characterization of biodegradable plastic material composed of Low-Density Polyethylene and cassava starch

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Author Sunday A. Afolalu, Omolayo M. Ikumapayi, Adebayo T. Ogundipe, Oluwasegun E. Falodun, Abayomi Adegbenjo and Tien-Chien Jen
e-ISSN 1819-6608
On Pages 127-135
Volume No. 18
Issue No. 03
Issue Date March 18, 2023
Keywords biodegradation, bioplastics, biopolymers, LDPE, thermoplastic starch.


Bioplastics make up less than 1% of overall plastics manufacturing, but the industry is growing. In 2019, about half of all bioplastics on the market (44.5 percent) are bio-based but not biodegradable. Biopolymers are the most hopeful material for this application because of their biodegradability and prolonged storage life properties which includes resistance to chemical and enzymatic activity. Starch is biodegradable, low-cost, and easily obtainable material. Starch cannot be considered a thermoplastic material due to van der Waals forces interactions and hydrogen bonding. Several plasticizers are used to make thermoplastic starches, which are thermoplastic materials that deform. Glycerol and palm oil were used individually, together with cassava starch and Low-Density Polyethylene. The compression, micro hardness, and biodegradability of the bioplastic were investigated. SEM and EDX were used to investigate the starch particles. According to biodegradation experiments applying glycerol as a plasticizer, 95% of the LDPE has degraded by 2.26%, 5.44%, and 9.5% after 7, 14, and 28 days respectively. Utilizing palm oil as a plasticizer depicts that 95% of the LDPE degraded by 1.22%, 1.81%, and 3.92% after 7, 14, and 28 days. This indicates that glycerol and starch biodegrade faster than palm oil and starch. This study reveals that the combination of glycerol and cassava starch has better physicochemical properties than palm oil and starch.


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