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Materials 2009, 2(3), 749-764; doi:10.3390/ma2030749

Compostability of Co-Extruded Starch/Poly(Lactic Acid) Polymeric Material Degradation in an Activated Inert Solid Medium

1
GRESPI (Groupe de Recherche en Sciences Pour l’Ingénieur), Esplanade Roland Garros, Pôle Technologique Henri Farman, BP1029 51686 Reims Cedex 2, France
2
LMI (laboratoire de Microbiologie Industrielle), Moulin de la Housse 51686, Reims, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 May 2009 / Revised: 19 June 2009 / Accepted: 23 June 2009 / Published: 8 July 2009
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Abstract

The aim of this work was to estimate the biodegradation of a co-extruded starch/poly(lactic acid) polymeric material using a vermiculite based inert solid medium which could simulate compost medium and enable us to achieve complete carbon balances. At the end of the test the mineralisation rate was compared to those obtained for co-extruded starch/poly(lactic acid) polymeric material degradation in compost. It was shown that the mineralisation rate after 45 days of degradation was similar in activated vermiculite medium to the one in compost. A protocol for both extraction and quantification of the carbon included in the different degradation by-products was proposed and the carbon balance of the polymer degradation was followed during the test with a satisfactory accuracy. As the non-degraded PLA and starch material had been retrieved during the test, the evolution of the glass transition temperature and the molecular weight of PLA could be followed. A two-step degradation mechanism was highlighted in inert solid medium, showing the fundamental role of abiotic reactions for PLA degradation in compost. View Full-Text
Keywords: starch; poly(lactic acid); mineralisation; carbon balance; biodegradation starch; poly(lactic acid); mineralisation; carbon balance; biodegradation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Copinet, A.; Legin-Copinet, E.; Erre, D. Compostability of Co-Extruded Starch/Poly(Lactic Acid) Polymeric Material Degradation in an Activated Inert Solid Medium. Materials 2009, 2, 749-764.

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