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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(2), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20020284

Processability and Degradability of PHA-Based Composites in Terrestrial Environments

Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering, University of Pisa, Largo Lucio Lazzarino 2, 56122 Pisa, Italy
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Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 7 January 2019 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 12 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Applications of Biopolymer Composites)
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Abstract

In this work, composites based on poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHB-HV) and waste wood sawdust (SD) fibers, a byproduct of the wood industry, were produced by melt extrusion and characterized in terms of processability, thermal stability, morphology, and mechanical properties in order to discriminate the formulations suitable for injection molding. Given their application in agriculture and/or plant nursery, the biodegradability of the optimized composites was investigated under controlled composting conditions in accordance with standard methods (ASTM D5338-98 and ISO 20200-2004). The optimized PHB-HV/SD composites were used for the production of pots by injection molding and their performance was qualitatively monitored in a plant nursery and underground for 14 months. This study presents a sustainable option of valuation of wood factory residues and lowering the production cost of PHB-HV-based compounds without affecting their mechanical properties, improving their impact resistance and biodegradability rates in terrestrial environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: biocomposites; natural fibers; poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-3-hydroxyvalerate); biodegradation; impact properties biocomposites; natural fibers; poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-3-hydroxyvalerate); biodegradation; impact properties
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Cinelli, P.; Seggiani, M.; Mallegni, N.; Gigante, V.; Lazzeri, A. Processability and Degradability of PHA-Based Composites in Terrestrial Environments. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 284.

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