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Open AccessArticle

Gas Transport Phenomena and Polymer Dynamics in PHB/PLA Blend Films as Potential Packaging Materials

1
Department of Chemical Science (DSC), University of Catania, Viale A. Doria 6, 95125 Catania, Italy
2
Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Stremyanny per. 36, 117997 Moscow, Russian Federation
3
Semenov Institute of Chemical Physics, Kosygin str. 4, 119991 Moscow, Russian Federation
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(3), 647; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12030647 (registering DOI)
Received: 14 February 2020 / Revised: 10 March 2020 / Accepted: 10 March 2020 / Published: 12 March 2020
Actually, in order to replace traditional fossil-based polymers, many efforts are devoted to the design and development of new and high-performance bioplastics materials. Poly(hydroxy alkanoates) (PHAS) as well as polylactides are the main candidates as naturally derived polymers. The intention of the present study is to manufacture fully bio-based blends based on two polyesters: poly (3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) and polylactic acid (PLA) as real competitors that could be used to replace petrol polymers in packaging industry. Blends in the shape of films have been prepared by chloroform solvent cast solution methodology, at different PHB/PLA ratios: 1/0, 1/9, 3/7, 5/5, 0/1. A series of dynamic explorations have been performed in order to characterize them from a different point of view. Gas permeability to N2, O2, and CO2 gases and probe (TEMPO) electron spin resonance (ESR) analyses were performed. Blend surface morphology has been evaluated by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) while their thermal behavior was analyzed by Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) technique. Special attention was devoted to color and transparency estimation. Both probe rotation mobility and N2, O2, and CO2 permeation have monotonically decreased during the transition from PLA to PHB, for all contents of bio-blends, namely because of transferring from PLA with lower crystallinity to PHB with a higher one. Consequently, the role of the crystallinity was elucidated. The temperature dependences for CO2 permeability and diffusivity as well as for probe correlation time allowed the authors to evaluate the activation energy of both processes. The values of gas transport energy activation and TEMPO rotation mobility are substantially close to each other, which should testify that polymer segmental mobility determines the gas permeability modality. View Full-Text
Keywords: poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB); polylactic acid (PLA); biomaterials; gas permeability; gas diffusion; segmental dynamics; electron spin resonance (ESR); scanning electron microscopy (SEM); differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB); polylactic acid (PLA); biomaterials; gas permeability; gas diffusion; segmental dynamics; electron spin resonance (ESR); scanning electron microscopy (SEM); differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Siracusa, V.; Karpova, S.; Olkhov, A.; Zhulkina, A.; Kosenko, R.; Iordanskii, A. Gas Transport Phenomena and Polymer Dynamics in PHB/PLA Blend Films as Potential Packaging Materials. Polymers 2020, 12, 647.

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