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Polymers 2017, 9(12), 724; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9120724

Novel Random PBS-Based Copolymers Containing Aliphatic Side Chains for Sustainable Flexible Food Packaging

1
Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Materials Engineering Department, University of Bologna, Via Terracini 28, 40131 Bologna, Italy
2
Department of Chemical Science, University of Catania, Viale A. Doria 6, 95125 Catania, Italy
3
Organic Synthesis and Photoreactivity Institute, ISOF-CNR, Via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
4
Department of Industrial Chemistry “Toso Montanari”, University of Bologna, Viale del Risorgimento 4, 40136 Bologna, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 November 2017 / Revised: 12 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 16 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable and Biobased Polyesters)
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Abstract

In the last decade, there has been an increased interest from the food packaging industry toward the development and application of biodegradable and biobased plastics, to contribute to the sustainable economy and to reduce the huge environmental problem afflicting the planet. In this framework, the present paper describes the synthesis of novel PBS (poly(butylene succinate))-based random copolymers with different composition containing glycol sub-units characterized by alkyl pendant groups of different length. The prepared samples were subjected to molecular, thermal, diffractometric and mechanical characterization. The barrier performances to O2, CO2 and N2 gases were also evaluated, envisioning for these new materials an application in food packaging. The presence of the side alkyl groups did not alter the thermal stability, whereas it significantly reduced the sample crystallinity degree, making these materials more flexible. The barrier properties were found to be worse than PBS; however, some of them were comparable to, or even better than, those of Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), widely employed for flexible food packaging. The entity of variations in the final properties due to copolymerization were more modest in the case of the co-unit with short side methyl groups, which, when included in the PBS crystal lattice, causes a more modest decrement of crystallinity degree. View Full-Text
Keywords: poly(butylene succinate); random copolymers; bio-based polyesters; thermal properties; mechanical properties; barrier properties; structure–property relationship poly(butylene succinate); random copolymers; bio-based polyesters; thermal properties; mechanical properties; barrier properties; structure–property relationship
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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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Guidotti, G.; Soccio, M.; Siracusa, V.; Gazzano, M.; Salatelli, E.; Munari, A.; Lotti, N. Novel Random PBS-Based Copolymers Containing Aliphatic Side Chains for Sustainable Flexible Food Packaging. Polymers 2017, 9, 724.

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