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Thermal, Mechanical, and Rheological Properties of Biocomposites Made of Poly(lactic acid) and Potato Pulp Powder

CNR-IPCF, National Research Council—Institute for Chemical and Physical Processes, Via Moruzzi 1, 56124 Pisa, Italy
Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering, University of Pisa, Largo Lucio Lazzarino 1, 56122 Pisa, Italy
Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, Giggenhauser Straße, 35, 85354 Freising, Germany
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 675;
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 1 February 2019 / Published: 5 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Applications of Biopolymer Composites)
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The thermal, mechanical, and rheological properties of biocomposites of poly(lactic acid) (PLA) with potato pulp powder were investigated in order to (1) quantify how the addition of this filler modifies the structure of the polymeric material and (2) to obtain information on the possible miscibility and compatibility between PLA and the potato pulp. The potato pulp powder utilized is a residue of the processing for the production and extraction of starch. The study was conducted by analyzing the effect of the potato pulp concentration on the thermal, mechanical, and rheological properties of the biocomposites. The results showed that the potato pulp powder does not act as reinforcement but as filler for the PLA polymeric matrix. A progressive decrease in elastic modulus, tensile strength, and elongation at break was observed with increasing the potato pulp percentage. This moderate loss of mechanical properties, however, still meets the technical requirements indicated for the production of rigid packaging items. The incorporation of potato pulp powder to PLA offers the possibility to reduce the cost of the final products and promotes a circular economy approach for the valorization of agro-food waste biomass. View Full-Text
Keywords: bio-based polymers; natural fibers; biomass; biocomposites; fiber/matrix adhesion bio-based polymers; natural fibers; biomass; biocomposites; fiber/matrix adhesion

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Righetti, M.C.; Cinelli, P.; Mallegni, N.; Massa, C.A.; Bronco, S.; Stäbler, A.; Lazzeri, A. Thermal, Mechanical, and Rheological Properties of Biocomposites Made of Poly(lactic acid) and Potato Pulp Powder. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 675.

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