Submitted to: Bio Environmental Polymer Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 30, 2003
Publication Date: August 1, 2003
Citation: Imam, S.H., Glenn, G.M., Orts, W.J., Shey, J., Wood, D.F. 2003. Starch biodegradation in complex polymeric matrices. Bio Environmental Polymer Society Annual Meeting, August 10-14. Technical Abstract: Starch, is a renewable and inherently biodegradable polymer. Starch polymer has been successfully incorporated in many polymeric systems in order to develop partially or totally biodegradable plastics. The environmental biodegradation of starch is particularly critical in consumer products intended for single-use application. However, once incorporated into complex polymer matrices, starch biodegradation, as well as its performance can be significantly impacted by many factors and variables. These include polymer processing methods, processing parameters, starch compatibility with other polymers in a blend, additives, and product storage conditions. Additionally, understanding the factors that influence a particular environment in which the starch-based product will be disgarded, are equally critical in the design and development of efficiently biodegradable starch products. USDA research on starch incorporation into synthetic as well as renewable polymers based plastics will be discussed along with factors that influence the starch degradation in such plastics.