Environmental pollution by non-biodegradable plastics, gradual reduction and increase in cost
of petroleum products used have affected lives over the years. With people using different
kinds of packaging, it has a part of human daily living. Therefore, it is very important to find
lasting and sustainable ways of producing and managing the wastes generated by these plastics.
In this work, starch based biocomposites are fabricated and characterised to access its
opportunities to replace petroleum based plastics. The modifiers that were considered for
reinforcement purposes were nanokaolin and cellulose nanofibers extracted from rice husk.
Stress strain diagrams were obtained from the tensile test method. From the stress-strain curve,
the yield strength, ultimate tensile strength and the fracture strength of the various
biocomposites were determined. The material that was shown to give good response to the
tensile load in terms of the yield, and fracture was seen to be TPS-0.2kaolin biocomposite. This
can be associated to goof interphase reaction between the nanoclay and the starch polymer at
nanoclay volume fraction of 0.2. Water vapour transmission test also pointed to biocomposites
of cellulose volume fraction 0.5 as the appropriate material with best water vapour barrier
properties. This is associated to the reason that at cellulose volume fraction of 0.5, the cellulose
whiskers are very compact and dispersed all over the biocomposites and hence restricts the
escape of water in the form of gas from the film. This confirms the reason why the strength of
the TPS-cellulose biocomposite is higher at volume fraction of 0.5.
FTIR analysis was conducted for thermoplastic starch (TPS) only, TPS-nanokaolin
biocomposites and TPS-cellulose biocomposites. The spectra for TPS only pointed to the
presence of OH-stretching due to the water used during fabrication, CH- bending and some CC bonds. The spectra for TPS-nanokaolin was similar to that of thermoplastic starch, however,
there was a new band showing the presence of Si-O-C bonds due to the chemical reaction of
the nanokaolin (alumino-silicate) to the water and starch. The spectra for TPS-cellulose showed
the presence of OH- stretching bond, CH-bends, C-C bonds.
The FTIR results showed the presence of water and other chemiclas that affect the strength of
the biocomposites prepared. This gives an idea of what to expect for the results of the
Scanning Electron Microscope micrographs shows that nanokaolin particles were successfully
introduced into the TPS matrix and it was uniformly dispersed in TPS-nanokaolin
nanocomposite films at optimum nanokaolin volume fractions. The micrographs for TPScellulose biocomposites showed that cellulose fiber was successfully introduced into the TPS
matrix but the fibers were not uniformly distributed.
Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) also gave the representation of elements present
in the TPS-nanokaolin and TPS-cellulose biocomposites. This analysis technique confirmed
the presence of Al, Si, O (known to be present in nanokaolin), and C (known to be present in
starch and glycerol) in TPS-nanokaolin biocomposites. Also, the presence of O, C, Ca, Si, Na
was confirmed in TPS-cellulose biocomposites. With C, O representing the elements in
cellulose, Ca and Si known to be elements which are present in rice husk. The Na was recorded
as a traces left after the extraction process.
Biocomposites prepared from starch, glycerol, and nanokaolin composites are seen to show
broad peaks which is known for semi-crystalline materials. However, the degree of crystallinity
increases as the volume fraction of nanokaolin increases.
Edu, F (2021). Fabrication And Characterization of Biodegradable Polymer Composites For Packaging Applications. Afribary.com: Retrieved April 17, 2021, from https://afribary.com/works/fabrication-and-characterization-of-biodegradable-polymer-composites-for-packaging-applications
Frontiers, Edu. "Fabrication And Characterization of Biodegradable Polymer Composites For Packaging Applications" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 08 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/fabrication-and-characterization-of-biodegradable-polymer-composites-for-packaging-applications . Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.
Frontiers, Edu. "Fabrication And Characterization of Biodegradable Polymer Composites For Packaging Applications". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 08 Apr. 2021. Web. 17 Apr. 2021. < https://afribary.com/works/fabrication-and-characterization-of-biodegradable-polymer-composites-for-packaging-applications >.
Frontiers, Edu. "Fabrication And Characterization of Biodegradable Polymer Composites For Packaging Applications" Afribary.com (2021). Accessed April 17, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/fabrication-and-characterization-of-biodegradable-polymer-composites-for-packaging-applications