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Influence of Epoxidized Canola Oil (eCO) and Cellulose Nanocrystals (CNCs) on the Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB)—Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) Blends

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Donadeo Innovation Centre for Engineering, Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 1H9, Canada
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Department of Automotive Engineering, University of Brasília, Faculdade do Gama, Brasília-DF 72444-240, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(6), 933; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11060933
Received: 15 May 2019 / Revised: 25 May 2019 / Accepted: 27 May 2019 / Published: 29 May 2019
Two major obstacles to utilizing polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB)—a biodegradable and biocompatible polymer—in commercial applications are its low tensile yield strength (<10 MPa) and elongation at break (~5%). In this work, we investigated the modification of the mechanical properties of PHB through the use of a variety of bio-derived additives. Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and sugarcane-sourced cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) were proposed as mechanical reinforcing elements, and epoxidized canola oil (eCO) was utilized as a green plasticizer. Zinc acetate was added to PHB and PLA blends in order to improve blending. Composites were mixed in a micro-extruder, and the resulting filaments were molded into 2-mm sheets utilizing a hot-press prior to characterization. The inclusion of the various additives was found to influence the crystallization process of PHB without affecting thermal stability. In general, the addition of PLA and, to a lesser degree, CNCs, resulted in an increase in the Young’s modulus of the material, while the addition of eCO improved the strain at break. Overall, samples containing eCO and PLA (at concentrations of 10 wt %, and 25 wt %, respectively) demonstrated the best mechanical properties in terms of Young’s modulus, tensile strength and strain at break. View Full-Text
Keywords: cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs); epoxidized canola oil (eCO); mechanical properties; polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA); polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB); poly(lactic acid) (PLA); thermal properties cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs); epoxidized canola oil (eCO); mechanical properties; polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA); polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB); poly(lactic acid) (PLA); thermal properties
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lopera-Valle, A.; Caputo, J.V.; Leão, R.; Sauvageau, D.; Luz, S.M.; Elias, A. Influence of Epoxidized Canola Oil (eCO) and Cellulose Nanocrystals (CNCs) on the Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB)—Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) Blends. Polymers 2019, 11, 933. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11060933

AMA Style

Lopera-Valle A, Caputo JV, Leão R, Sauvageau D, Luz SM, Elias A. Influence of Epoxidized Canola Oil (eCO) and Cellulose Nanocrystals (CNCs) on the Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB)—Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) Blends. Polymers. 2019; 11(6):933. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11060933

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lopera-Valle, Adrián; Caputo, Joseph V.; Leão, Rosineide; Sauvageau, Dominic; Luz, Sandra M.; Elias, Anastasia. 2019. "Influence of Epoxidized Canola Oil (eCO) and Cellulose Nanocrystals (CNCs) on the Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB)—Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) Blends" Polymers 11, no. 6: 933. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11060933

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