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Open AccessArticle

Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Biocomposites Made of Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) and Potato Pulp Powder

1
CNR-IPCF, National Research Council—Institute for Chemical and Physical Processes, Via Moruzzi 1, 56124 Pisa, Italy
2
Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering, University of Pisa, Largo Lucio Lazzarino 1, 56122 Pisa, Italy
3
Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, Giggenhauser Straße, 35, 85354 Freising, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(2), 308; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11020308
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 8 February 2019 / Accepted: 10 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Polymers - Where We Are and Where to Going)
The thermal and mechanical properties of biocomposites of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) containing 5 wt % of valerate units, with 20 wt % of potato pulp powder were investigated in order (i) to obtain information on possible miscibility/compatibility between the biopolymers and the potato pulp, and (ii) to quantify how the addition of this filler modifies the properties of the polymeric material. The potato pulp powder utilized is a residue of processing for the production and extraction of starch. The final aim of this study is the preparation of PHBV based materials with reduced cost, thanks to biomass valorization, in agreement with the circular economy policy, as result of the incorporation of agricultural organic waste. The results showed that the potato pulp powder does not act as reinforcement, but rather as filler for the PHBV polymeric matrix. A moderate loss in mechanical properties is detected (decrease in elastic modulus, tensile strength and elongation at break), which regardless still meets the technical requirements indicated for rigid packaging production. In order to improve the mechanical response of the PHBV/potato pulp powder biocomposites, surface treatment of the potato pulp powder with bio-based and petroleum-based waxes was investigated. Good enhancement of the mechanical properties was achieved with the natural carnauba and bee waxes. 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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MDPI and ACS Style

Righetti, M.C.; Cinelli, P.; Mallegni, N.; Stäbler, A.; Lazzeri, A. Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Biocomposites Made of Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) and Potato Pulp Powder. Polymers 2019, 11, 308.

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